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The Preview: Derby v Blues

Posted: Fri 25 Oct 2013
Image by: Pete Stanley previews Saturday's Sky Bet Championship game at Pride Park (3pm kick-off).

Lee Clark on the importance of starting games quickly in the Sky Bet Championship…
“We are well aware of the situation. In this division if you’re not right at it from the first whistle you give yourself problems and we encountered that on Sunday (against Leeds United) and ended up on the end of a heavy defeat.”

On his players' reaction to the loss at Elland Road last weekend…
“I said to the players straight after the Leeds game, and also repeated it on Monday, that there is not a player that can come knocking on my door if they’re not selected against Derby because of the performance at Leeds.

“But the reaction has been terrific. Obviously it was sombre travelling back from Yorkshire on Sunday, and also Monday when we sat down and analysed the game again as a group.

“There were not many positives apart from the second half performance in terms of our quality and the amount of chances we created. But it was constructive in terms of seeing and speaking about what we hadn’t done very well and the week has gradually got more positive.

“I don’t want to be on the end of those results but when it does happen it’s nice to see a reaction from a group of players who show that they care. We have to get ourselves dusted down, get our chests out and go again.”

On looking to bounce back, as they did after the heavy defeat to Burnley in September…
“We bounced back after that and we have to do that again. We’ve got to keep fighting for the club and for the supporters more than anything. I keep stressing that to the players.

“The support has been unwavering. Even when it went to four on Sunday, the noise generated by the fans was terrific and there for everyone to see.

“We’re well aware that we have to pick up points very quickly and climb up the league.”

On the threat that Derby pose…
“A new manager (Steve McLaren) has come in and continued the great work that Nigel (Clough) did before him. Steve is obviously a very experienced manager at the highest level.

“They’re a very high energy team, with young players and lots of good movement at the top end of the field and I think they’re playing at their maximum confidence at the moment.

“I watched the footage of the Leeds and Watford games and they played some terrific football at times. We have to match that and be a threat ourselves when we’ve got the ball.

“The table doesn’t lie and we need to start winning some games but this is very similar to where we were last year.

“We’ve got to make sure we get some positive results. Whether that’s comes with taking a point or whether you go away and get a great result and bring all three back we’ve got to get back to getting points on the board.”

Derby have confirmed that tickets must be purchased in advance and there is no 'pay on the gate'. Tickets will be on sale from the Kop Ticket Office at St. Andrew's until 4pm today (Friday)

Team news...
Jesse Lingard will miss the trip to Pride Park with a knee ligament problem, but Lee Clark hopes he will be available for next weekend’s home game against Charlton Athletic. Jonathan Spector (thigh), Akwasi Asante (hamstring) and Neal Eardley (knee) all miss out. Midfielder Tom Adeyemi will have a late fitness test after only just returning to training following a sickness bug.

Stat Pack...
- There have been a total of 109 league, FA Cup and League cup meetings between the teams. Derby have won 40 of them, Blues 39 and 30 have been drawn.
- The first game between the two clubs was an FA Cup fixture in December 1885, which Blues won 4-2.
- The highest scoring fixture between the two sides was a 5-5 draw at St. Andrew's in a Division 2 fixture in April 1966.
- Blues' biggest win away at Derby was a 4-2 victory in Division 2 in October 1953.
- The teams played each other twice last year in the Championship. Blues won 3-1 at St. Andrew's, with Derby winning 3-2 at Pride Park.

20131021 Blues v Stoke