FAN COLUMN: Ashley Cole will offer valuable experience to Derby County

Ashley Cole has arrived at Pride Park Stadium.
Ashley Cole has arrived at Pride Park Stadium.

Derby returned to winning ways in the league campaign with a win over Reading on Saturday.

Despite the claims of the visiting team manager Jose Gomes, Derby were worth their victory and sold have been out of sight by half-time.

We know it’s not 'The Derby Way' to do things easily and the first-half lead of 2-0 was halved during the second-half by Sone Aluko. Reading did have a lot more possession of the ball after the break, but failed to capitalise on it.

The worst kept secret in the Championship was then finally announced on Monday when Ashley Cole was announced as a Derby County player. He will join on an initial six-month contract and will be earning considerably less than his days at Arsenal and Chelsea.

Most of the reaction from the fans has been positive with them realising that even at the age of 38 he can bring some much-needed experience to our side. There are one or two sceptics that he will still be able to perform, but we had similar years ago when Paul McGrath joined us!

Cole could actually bring as much to the team off the field as on it. He will be an ideal player for youngsters like Jayden Bogle to learn from.

Speaking of youngsters, Lee Buchanan and Tyree Wilson found themselves on the subs bench on Saturday alongside Max Bird. Those three, plus Tom Huddlestone, Bogle and Mason Bennett, meant six home grown players were in our match day squad. There are a few more pushing for a squad place too. Are we starting to see an influx of academy players making the grade?

On Saturday we travel to Accrington Stanley and without disrespecting them, they are one of the smallest clubs in the country. A phoenix club formed in 1968 after the closure of both the former Stanley club and the original Accrington FC (ho were league founder members), they will be hoping to take a higher league scalp when they host us for this fourth round FA Cup tie. There will be no room for slip-ups - let’s not become the victims of another giant-killing act.

Kelle Roos kept goal on Saturday for the second game in a row and didn’t put a foot wrong. It’ll be interesting to see if Frank Lampard sticks with him on Scott Carson’s return from injury. I would think he will get the nod this weekend.