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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Monday, January 22nd 2018

Steele reflects on Pride Park point

Luke Steele says there "won't be too many grumbles" after City and Derby County shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw on Friday night.

Lee Johnson's side soaked up a lot of Rams pressure but were unable to find the net themselves when presented the opportunity.

Steele was a half-time substitute at Pride Park as he replaced Frank Fielding, who has picked up a groin injury.

Reflecting on the game, Steele felt the result was probably the right result.

He told BCTV: "I think you have to be fair and say they had the better chances but I think in the second half, when Famara (Diédhiou) came on, we looked dangerous. We looked like a top division side who could score on the breaks.

"It’s not a bad point because it’s away from home and against the team second in the table. We defended well but so did they. We’re used to scoring goals but in the end there won’t be too many grumbles.

Steele denies Vydra at Pride Park

DIÉDHIOU'S RETURN

Diédhiou's return as a half-time substitute was his first City appearance for three months, after the club's £5.3m record signing damaged knee ligaments back in October.

And the Senegalese striker was heavily involved in the play whenever City looked to push forward.

Steele continued: "He’s a top striker. His hold-up play, his one-touch lay-offs, speed, his turns, he’s an aerial threat and he’s something we’ve been missing.  

"The club paid a lot for him in the summer and he’s an important player. The physios have done brilliantly to get him back this quickly and that’s encouraging for the fans and I’m sure the manager will be thinking the same."

HANDS OF STEELE

"Frank made a really good save from the free kick but it’s a bizarre situation when you have to come on [as a substitute]. I haven’t done it too many times in my career but now I’ve done it twice in one season.

"I could see he was struggling but I was warm and ready to come on. I made a couple of saves and we’ve taken a good, solid point."

VIEW ON THE PENALTY?

Derby debutant Cameron Jerome took a tumble under pressure from Aden Flint late on but referee Darren England dismissed the appeals.

Steel was one of those players close to the action. He said: "My opinion is that it looks like Aden made contact but I think Cameron let himself down in the theatrics after.

"I think the referee might have awarded a penalty if he hadn’t gone down like he did. I think he could have gone down a bit more graciously. But that’s a tough call for the referee and it's an important one."

AND IT'S MANCHESTER CITY NEXT

"It’s a huge game; a semi-final and the lads have been great in the first half of the tie. They were lucky not to take a draw from the Etihad.

"We’ve got here and it’s will be a big game, like the quarter-final was against Manchester United. We’ll go out there fighting and I’m sure the gaffer will plotting a way to beat them."