Rangers loanee George Edmundson made his first start for Wayne Rooney’s Derby County as they fell to their third defeat since the Man Utd legend was appointed manager on a full-time basis.
Premier League hopefuls Watford downed the Rams 2-1 courtesy of two first half strikes from Joao Pedro and ex-Pride Park midfielder Will Hughes.
William Troost-Ekong would net an own goal with 13 minutes to go in the game at Vicarage Road but Derby couldn’t force a late leveller.
The result leaves Derby in 17th place in the English Championship with any faint hopes of a resurgence under Rooney bringing them within the playoffs fast fading.
Watford, in contrast, sit 3rd in a tight Championship race, level on points with 2nd place Brentford and four behind leader Norwich who’re on 61 points, with both sides above them having a game in hand.
Edmundson, 23, played the full 90 minutes and spoke to club media in the aftermath of the result and believes Wayne Rooney’s side deserved to take at least a point from the match.
“It was a tough game,” said Edmundson [DCFC].
“We knew that before we came here but I thought the way we played, especially the second half, we deserved more out of the game.
“We got in at half time and we knew it was there for the taking, we just had to believe in ourselves a bit more. I thought we did that in the second half and came close.
“We have had some good chances, I probably wouldn’t say we had any clear-cut ones but a few goalmouth scrambles made them at least defend in the first half.
“We did that and got in good areas then we wouldn’t put the best ball in and let them off the hook.
“Second half we made them defend and put good balls into the box. To be fair to them, Watford defended it well.”
Edmundson was sent out on loan to Derby in the January window following a high-profile Covid-19 breach alongside Jordan Jones which saw him frozen out of the Rangers squad.
The club’s fans too have cursed the latest Rangers Covid breachers with one of the five coming in for particular criticism following a high-profile injury.