It is a huge week for Derby County, first up tomorrow is a trip to Leicester City for a place in the fourth round of the League Cup and then, on Saturday, is the eagerly awaited match-up at our old foes Nottingham Forest.
It all comes on the back of yet another frustrating defeat at Pride Park. Derby were soft at conceding goals, lacked quality going forward and failed to make their possession count or trouble the opponents. Anyway, enough of that.
As Ramspace pointed out earlier today (beat me to it!), tomorrow night’s match presents an interesting team selection headache with the encounter being days before the big day. Do the Rams make wholesale changes to preserve the likes of Hughes and Ward for Saturday, go all out and risk the possibility of extra time tiredness or make a few tweaks here and there? I say the latter. Hughes, for one, certainly must be left out after recent reports of injury worries, along with Ward, who Clough himself has admitted he must be cautious with and a couple of others hither and dither. It’s important to restore confidence and hopefully Sammon and certainly Jacobs are given a chance.
The Forest game, live on TV, presents a huge challenge and must be at the forefront of Clough’s mind tomorrow evening. Our last two visits there have ended in victory, why not again? Our away form is good and the way the Rams set out puts the pressure with the hosts. Don’t forget, following the takeover and spending spree of last season, many Reds wrote us off and look what happened (BRYSON, ring any bells?). It’s a local derby, anything can happen!
Aside from the squad and the week for them, it is massive for the boss Nigel Clough. The home defeat at the weekend came hand in hand with the usual tweets and moans for his sacking and questioning his judgements, which I do believe were questionable at the weekend, by the way. Defeats this week, and in particular one on Sky with more than the usual viewing and to a certain side, would mean more mountains of pressure and that would be going into an, on paper, unattractive and boring game against Ipswich Town. Suddenly that could become another huge game and then it’s Leeds United at home, so back-to-back home matches are on their way next week. A win or two under his belt would relieve some tension.
Two oppositions this week will, if Saturday is anything to go by, punish Derby but on the road it has been a different story. They’re both two very tough games to predict but I’d be lying if I wasn’t slightly fearful of the team down the A52, Nathanial Chalaboh is a good coup on loan from Premier League giants Chelsea.
Nevertheless, let’s keep the faith this week and not dwell too much on the weekend. It’s a fresh week.
COME ON YOU RAMS!!!!