The Warm down: Derby County v Hull City
Wayne Rooney, manager of Derby County during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Hull City at the Pride Park, Derby on Tuesday 8th February 2022. (Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Derby County put on a dominating display at Pride Park, beating Hull City 3-1. 

Craig Forsyth grabbed a goal early on to give the hosts the lead before Tom Lawrence made it two just before halftime. After the break, Festy Ebosele made it three and a Forsyth own goal gave Hull City hopes of a comeback that was never really on the cards. 

The Rams are now on 18 points and a chance of survival has become more realistic than ever. As for Hull, the loss means they haven't escaped the relegation battle just yet. 

  • A game full of Forsyth

The defender made his 250th appearance last night and it will be one he will surely remember. The 32-year-old scored at both ends of the field and was a prominent figure throughout the fixture. 

His first goal, a header, gave the Rams the lead inside the first 20 minutes and ultimately kicked off a successful night for the hosts. Defensively the full-back was strong, winning 90% of his ground duels, 86% of his aerial duels, 50% of his tackles and making six recoveries. 

The own goal was unlucky to concede as well with Forsyth attempting to clear the ball from a cross, only for it to bounce off his foot and past Ryan Allsopp.

  • Fantastic Festy 

Festy Ebosele has been one of the standout players this season for Derby and last night was no different. The Irish international played 70 minutes on the right-hand side of the midfield and provided an energetic burst that the visitors were unable to deal with.

In that time he scored, averaged an 80% pass success rate, a 40% dribbles completion rate, won 67% of tackles, 67% of aerial duels and 45% of ground duels, all of which meant he was awarded the Sky Sports 'Man of the Match' award. 

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There had been reports suggesting Ebosele would be leaving the Midlands and England in the summer to join up with Italian Serie A side Udinese, after reportedly having a medical at the club whilst away from Derby for a few days. 

When asked about the situation manager Wayne Rooney told Derbyshire Live: "I was the same, I saw the news.

"I spoke to the administrators first and they were unaware, they said no clubs had contacted the club. Then I spoke to Festy, and he was having a two-day break with his girlfriend.

“He hasn’t spoken to any clubs. I spoke to the player and the club, and no one has been in touch with either the administrators or the player.”

Festy is a fan favourite in Derby and his contract will be one of the first that the fans would want the club to sort out in the summer. 

  • The relegation battle 

This result makes the bottom of the Championship as interesting as ever. the Rams are now just four points off 21st place Reading. However, it isn't that simple, both Reading and 22nd place Peterborough have games in hand over the Rooney's men and wins in these games could make things harder than they first appear to be for the Rams. 

As for the Tigers, they now sit just ten points and two spots above Reading at 19th. However, just like Derby, things aren't all plain sailing for Hull. Both Reading and 20th placed Cardiff City have two games in hand and wins in those games could drag Hull back into the fight. 

Hull have a tough next three as they face Fulham, Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers, whilst Derby, who need to win nearly all of their games, have a slightly more favourable run. They head to Middlesbrough, in what will be a huge battle both on and off the pitch, before hosting both Peterborough and Millwall.

Both sides will be looking to pick up as many points as possible to help their survival efforts. 

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