Frank Lampard’s Derby County suffered a severe dent in their promotion hopes last night as they were beaten 1-0 by Millwall.
The Rams were sunk by Jed Wallace’s 73rd-minute goal and have it all to do in their quest to make the top-six.
Things haven’t been fluent at Pride Park for a while.
It is now just 14 points from the last 11 games and having spent £15 million on players, Lampard is under pressure to deliver.
The Rams caught the eye during the summer.
Lampard offloaded a lot of deadwood, whilst spending the money astutely and adding a series of high-profile loans to his squad.
February is when it all starts to happen again, however.
Notoriously it is around this time of the year when the Rams’ season starts to slide.
Lampard is aware of this too.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph, the boss said: “Somebody told me (about struggling in certain months) the first day I came here, and I thought it was strange in July to talk about February, it was weird.
“I don’t like the idea of a month or any month being a slight curse. I think the more you look towards that, the more you give yourself a feeling that it will happen again. So I don’t entertain it.”
Last night followed a desperately disappointing display at bottom-club Ipswich Town and whether Lampard wants to address it or not, something isn’t right somewhere.
Nottingham Forest are up next and the Rams need a performance from somewhere.
Derby lost vital ground on the top-six last night and they really need to revive their season at the City Ground on Monday.
Not making the play-offs hasn’t bode well for managers of old.
With Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke on the horizon, the next month could well define Lampard’s Pride Park future.