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Derby County star can feel unlucky after Rams supporters reveal

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Derby County knows that a single point will be sufficient to guarantee a trip back to the Championship going into the final league game of the season.

The 2023–24 season proved to be a great success for the team, despite the fact that things were looking quite bad at the halfway point and that supporters were demanding the firing of manager Paul Warne.

With one game remaining, the Rams are currently in second place on 89 points, three points ahead of Bolton Wanderers in third place, thanks to their decision to stick with the former Rotherham United manager.

League One table (As it stands on 24th of April)
Teams PL PTS GD
1 Portsmouth 45 94 35
2 Derby County 45 89 39
3 Bolton Wanderers 45 86 35
4 Peterborough United 45 83 28
5 Barnsley 45 75 18
6 Lincoln City 45 74 27
7 Oxford United 45 74 22
8 Blackpool 45 73 28

So, it seems certain that Derby are going to end up in the second tier, as they face bottom side Carlisle United at home on Saturday, knowing a point is enough for promotion. Leading up to this game, the club has held their annual awards evening, which is an opportunity to look back on the season and reward individuals who have been outstanding.

There were probably a number of players that could have been in line to win the fans’ Player of the Season award, but it was defender Curtis Nelson who ran out the winner after having an excellent campaign.

Curtis Nelson wins Derby County Supporters Player of the Season award

Curtis Nelson

Curtis Nelson, who only joined Derby County last summer on a free transfer from Blackpool, has had a fantastic debut season.

The Rams have relied heavily on the center-back, who has started all 45 of their league games.

Nelson has also contributed two goals during that period of time: the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic and one in the season’s earlier draw with Cheltenham Town.

With his consistent play and availability, the 30-year-old won both the Jack Stamps Player of the Season title and the Players’ Player of the Season award for Derby, a team in which he has participated in 50 games across all competitions.

While Nathaniel Mendez-Laing of Derby may feel a little unlucky not to have won Supporters Player of the Season, Nelson has had a fantastic season with the team and will be hoping to cap it off with promotion this coming weekend.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing can feel unlucky he didn’t win Derby supporters’ Player of the Season award

Nathaniel Mendez-LaingWhile there is no denying Curtis Nelson’s outstanding season and rightful winner status, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, a player for Derby County, may also feel a touch unlucky to have won. The 32-year-old, who joined the Rams on a free transfer from Sheffield Wednesday in 2022, has now played for the team for two seasons. Mendez-Laing has been a valuable addition to the Rams since joining the team; in 44 League One games last season, he scored seven goals and got eight assists. However, the winger has improved his play this season and is now a vital part of Derby’s assault. In 45 league appearances thus far, Mendez-Laing has racked up nine goals and an astounding fifteen assists; the winger has only been unable to start one of those games. The attacker had a bit of a sluggish start, but halfway through the season, he found his footing once more and began demonstrating why he is perhaps too talented for League One. However, his play in the new year was particularly helpful in launching Derby’s assault on the top two, as he not only scored goals but also created several opportunities for his teammates, earning numerous assists. Mendez-Laing is one of the league’s top players thanks to his all-around attacking performance; he averages two shots per game and has wasted ten clear opportunities to increase his tally of nine goals. However, the winger’s inventiveness is evident as he creates an astounding 19 great opportunities for his teammates each game in addition to two crucial passes. According to Sofascore.com, Mendez-Laing has also performed well in defense, recovering the ball 4.2 times every game. Mendez-Laing and Nelson have both performed exceptionally well for Derby this season and have earned the award in their own right. Although few will contest the choice of the defender, Mendez-Laing may feel a little unfairly treated given his stellar season with the League One team. However, the winger will be aware of his great season-long contribution, and he will probably trade any personal accolades for a promotion and a chance to play in the Championship the following year.

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