Simpson happy with Zenit workout

Last Updated: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:42

Derby first-team coach Paul Simpson says defeat at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg was a good workout for the Rams.

County were beaten 2-0 by Andre Villas-Boas' side at SC Kalsdorf's stadium in Austria. Axel Witsel, who played for Belgium at the World Cup, opened the scoring and Ivan Solovyev doubled the Russian Premier League side's tally.

Following their first defeat of pre-season, Simpson told the club's website: "We knew it was going to be a tough test and we're delighted with that for a workout for us. It was the sort of test we needed in all honesty and we learnt a lot from it.

"Zenit are a couple of weeks ahead of us in their pre-season work and are gearing up for a Champions League qualifier next week.

"They have some top players in their squad - it was a pleasure to play against that quality of opposition - and I think we did really well against them."

New signing George Thorne limped off in the first half with a dead leg and a knock to his knee, but the 21-year-old midfielder is not expected to be a long-term absentee.

Simpson said: "We don't think it is anything too serious with George. He was feeling a bit sorry for himself coming off but hopefully he will be okay.

"He is a big, strong lad and was only down to play a half so he hasn't missed a lot of football as a result, so we just need to get him right for the next one."

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