Derby County were held to a 1-1 away draw at Ipswich Town on Wednesday night in the Championship and it was a big opportunity missed.
The Rams slipped up on the road against bottom of the table and as a result remain seventh in the league, but they would have moved into the play-off positions with a win.
Tom Lawrence’s opener was cancelled out by a Jon Nolan goal in the second-half and the visitors weren’t at their fluent best.
Derby really suffered from the absence of midfielder Tom Huddlestone, who was an unused substitute that manager Frank Lampard opted not to throw on.
Huddlestone has been one of the side’s top performers recently when he’s been on the pitch, but has not been a regular starter in 2019.
The 32-year-old central midfielder is a pass master that dictates play and can look a class above in the Championship at times.
Lampard may not feel he has the legs to play every game, as he’s featured in just three of the last six league games.
Derby have picked up seven points with him in the team and just two points without during that time.
Huddlestone is an experienced midfielder that offers much more guile than teammate Bradley Johnson and Derby missed his vision against Ipswich.
There is an FA Cup fifth round tie away to Brighton on Saturday just around the corner and it will be intriguing to see if Lampard opts to turn to his midfield general in that match.