After the frustration of twice coming back from behind to equalise against Scunthorpe United before succumbing to a late winner, Derby have the perfect opportunity to bounce back on Tuesday night a the seaside against a Blackpool team who have drawn their opening two league fixtures. A solid start to the campaign from a team which sold its prize asset, central defender Shaun Barker, to the Rams in the summer break. Centre-half Barker, may be brought into the team and face former Rams central defender Ian Evatt, who scored an excellent for the Seasiders at the weekend. This fixture was not a good one for Derby last season, as they lost a 5 goal thriller 3-2, not dissimilar to the defeat at the hands of Scunthorpe. Kris Commons got his first goal for the club from a free-kick, and he will be hoping to add to the penalty he scored for The Rams at Glanford Park.
Derby Manager Nigel Clough wants to eradicate the errors which have seen the Ram`s concede six goals in the opening three fixtures of the season. ‘The goals we conceded at Rotherham and Scunthorpe cost us games we could well have won and it’s important to be more focused on not giving away silly goals.” Clough wants to maintain the impressive form his side have shown at the other end of the pitch, yielding five goals so far this season: ‘We have no intention of abandoning our philosophy of being positive and creating chances.”
Kris Commons was not a happy man having seen a defensively frail performance deny the Rams a chance of valuable away points. Speaking to the official club website, he said: ‘We played some very good football at times and at 2-2 I thought we were going to win the game. It’s important in matches like that to take something from the game, because it was frustrating to leave there with nothing; we have to be more ruthless I guess. Tuesday night at Blackpool will be tough; they haven’t lost yet this season and by all accounts were unlucky not to win at the weekend.”
Blackpool defender and ex-Ram Ian Evatt was delighted to score in his side`s draw against Cardiff at the weekend.’It was probably the best of my career,’ said Evatt in an interview with the Blackpool Gazette, whose last goal came in October, “As an academy player who came through the ranks at Derby that was the way I was brought up – to try and pass it.”
Blackpool Team News:
Former Nottingham Forest loanee, Brett Ormerod, is likely to start up-front as first choice striker Ben Burgess is sidelined with a groin injury. Jason Euell, a summer signing from relegated Southampton, and Gary Taylor-Fletcher should support in attacking midfield roles. Young midfielder Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, signed from Arsenal on a one-month loan, could make his Debut for Ian Holloway`s side.
Player to watch: Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Without a spectacular scoring record (11 goals in 82 games), attacking midfielder/striker Taylor-Fletcher has a goal threat and certainly the potential to net against a team he scored against last season.
Derby County Team News:
Rob Hulse is a possible starter for the seaside clash on Tuesday night, having made an appearance as a second half substitute against Scunthorpe. It is more likely that he will feature from the bench again, but this news is welcome nonetheless. Kris Commons is also edging back towards full match fitness and Steve Davies should not be too far away from making a return from a hamstring problem. Defenders Dean Leacock and Shaun Barker are both available for selection after long and short injury lay-offs respectively. Clough may choose to tinker with his defence after shipping three goals in the most recent fixture.
Player to watch: Rob Hulse (if fit)
Striker Hulse, last year`s player of the season, will be a vital outlet at an often blustery Bloomfield Road. His potential to hold the ball up will be vital if he is selected.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Scunthorpe United (a) 2-3
Rotherham United (a) 1-2
Peterborough United (h) 2-1
Watford (a) 1-3
Charlton Athletic (h) 1-0
Last 5: Blackpool
Cardiff City (h) 1-1
Crewe Alexandra (a) 2-1
Queens Park Rangers (h) 1-1
Swansea City (a) 1-0
Nottingham Forest (h) 1-1
Derby County vs. Plymouth Argyle, Saturday, 22 August 2009 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship