Derby County saw their play-off hopes take a hit as they were beaten 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
Goals from Grady Diangana and Dara O’Shea ensured a miserable night for the Rams, who saw Louis Sibley sent off late on.
Derby are three points adrift of Cardiff in sixth but have an inferior goal difference to the Bluebirds.
Phillip Cocu’s men were never really in the contest and for large parts of the game, it proved to be men against boys.
One positive on a disappointing night was the fact that at one point in the second half, the Rams had eight academy players on the pitch.
Owner Mel Morris has made no secret of his desire to see the Rams utilise the academy more and this will have delighted him.
One of the youngsters was Max Bird and he finished the game wearing the captain’s armband after Wayne Rooney had been withdrawn.
Despite the performance, Rams supporters were buzzing with Bird and proud as punch to see him lead the team.
The defensive midfielder has played 18 times in the Championship this season and looks set for a bright future.
Here we looked a selection of tweets from the Rams faithful on the performance of Bird against the Baggies.
Absolute lesson tonight…no shots on target and didn’t lay a glove on West Brom …positive …Max Bird is an absolute rolls Royce of a player…some of the other academy players will get better and learn…but most are no where near ready for this level or higher just yet.
— Paul (@Williamsp57Paul) July 8, 2020
Youngest ever side to represent derby now on the field ? 8 of the 11 on the pitch now are academy graduates with Max Bird as captain which shows how far he has come. This was Mel’s long-term vision, hopefully this team will go far ?? #dcfc #dcfcfans
— Charlie Hammond (@cv_hammond) July 8, 2020
Max Bird running the show with the captains armband ? In Cocu we trust ???
— Rʏᴀɴ Tɪᴢᴢᴀʀᴅ (@ryantizzard) July 8, 2020
Max Bird is going to be some player.
— ManxRam (@manx_ram) July 8, 2020
Max bird yet again brilliant. Evans very good also, the rest can all step up a gear, push forward 10 yards and we are still very much in this game. Believe #dcfc
— DCFCtalk (@Dcfctalk2) July 8, 2020
Max Bird is a proper Rolls-Royce. Never looks rushed or in any danger.
— Matthew Jones (@Matthew_Jones6) July 8, 2020
Max Bird just makes everything look easy
— James Aspinall (@Aspi1998) July 8, 2020