72% possession and 30 shots are all well and good, but City’s inability to create clear cut chances cost them dear against a determined Wigan defence for a fifth straight league defeat. Gary Caldwell will need to pick up his beleaguered troops quickly ahead of a trip to one of the more fancied sides in the division, albeit one that is itself stumbling. Caldwell was able to give Admiral Muskwe his first start on Saturday while Ryan Trevitt also returned – the former may not be considered ready to start twice in four days so James Scott is likely to return to the starting lineup, while Caldwell is still waiting on the likes of Ilmari Niskanen and Dion Rankine.
As we enter sacking season, the vultures are said to be circling around Paul Warne, with supporters restless at Derby’s indifferent start to the season, although Saturday’s 1-0 reverse at Shrewsbury was their first since a 2-1 defeat at Bolton at the start of September. There was much disappointment, however, with recent draws against the likes of Cambridge and Cheltenham. The summer saw the departure of a couple of senior players who had done so well for them last season in David McGoldrick (making a surprise move down a division to Notts County) and Curtis Davies, but Warne’s incoming business looked impressive with players such as Martyn Waghorn, Sonny Bradley, Conor Washington and ex-City loanee Kane Wilson arriving at Pride Park. Waghorn in particular has started well with six goals to his name, while another veteran striker in James Collins has five.
Last season saw Derby take four points from this fixture. The corresponding match took place on a Tuesday night the very same week as this season’s encounter, with Caldwell’s City tenure getting off to a decent start with a 0-0 draw. The return at SJP saw Derby win a slightly fractious encounter 2-1 – McGoldrick scored a double before Jack Sparkes reduced the deficit in a match marred by some dreadful antics from the visiting goalkeeper and tensions between the two benches. That win, given last season was the first in which the sides were in the same division, meant it’s P2 W1 D1 for Derby in this fixture.
The match officials for this game will be:-
Referee: Sunny Gill
Assistant Referees: Ravel Cheosiaua and Christopher Husband
Fourth Official : Mark Jones
This will be the third time that Sunny Gill has refereed Exeter City. He refereed our game against Southampton U21s in the EFL Trophy that City won 2-1, and in March he took charge of our game at home to Lincoln which Exeter won 2-1, sending off Alex Hartridge.