Date: 18th February 2009 at 12:32pm
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After the visit of Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday it`s back to league action for The Rams as they take on Blackpool in search of vital league points. The effort was there in the 4-1 defeat if not the result and the recent improvement can be seen as The Rams start to climb away from the bottom of the table towards safety. Whilst the result was disappointing Derby managed to score four goals in three games against the World Champions which is no mean achievement with the defensive record United have of late.

Nigel Clough thinks that five victories between now and the end of the season will be enough to see his side to safety and reach the 50 point mark that he thinks will maintain their Championship status. pcoming games against Nottingham Forest and Doncaster Rovers, teams around Derby in the table, will provide a big boost to The Rams standing if they can pick up results and edge further up the table. Jay McEveley returns to the squad for this match after sitting out the cup defeat due to suspension and will fight with Jordan Stewart for the left back spot. Clough has a fairly healthy squad at the moment with even long term absentee Stephen Pearson returning and coming off the bench at the weekend.

Blackpool currently sit 16th in the Championship, thee points ahead of Derby. They have had a mixed bag of results recently with a thoroughly deserved home victory against Birmingham City sandwiched between defeats to Queens Park Rangers and Coventry City and an FA Cup defeat to non-league Torquay United. However, it is away from home that the results have picked up with wins at Crystal Palace and a draw at Ipswich in the last two outings. Tony Parkes is currently in charge after Simon Grayson left to take charge at Leeds United earlier in the season and it was under the laters charge that Pool beat Derby 3-2 back in October with goals from Gow, Burgess and Taylor-Fletcher proving enough to give the seasiders victory.

Vital Quotes:

‘We switched off at a corner and were 3-0 down and thinking it could end up five or six,’
‘But we got the ball down and started to play a little bit. We thoroughly deserved the goal and for a ten-minute spell we had a couple of opportunities where we could have got back to 3-2.
‘But four of the last five they have conceded in the last couple of months we have scored against them,’

Nigel Clough talking to Radio Derby about the defeat against Manchester United.

Derby County Team News:

Jay McEveley returns to the squad after missing the cup tie with suspension and Nigel Clough has a full squad to choose from.

Player to watch: Gary Teale

Has shown a remarkable turnaround in form in recent weeks and gave Rafael a tough time in the second half on Sunday after Derby got themselves back in the game, looks a real threat from the left of midfield.

Blackpool Team News:

Charlie Adam is out suspended whilst Ian Evatt will be on the bench on his return. Matt Gilks is expected to keep his place in goal.

Player to watch: Gary Taylor-Fletcher

Midfield man who has been linked with a move to the Premiership after some fine displays and bagging five goals for Blackpool this season including a strike against The Rams earlier this season.

Match Facts & Stats

Last five results

Derby County
Birmingham City (A) 0-1
Coventry City (H) 2-1 Hulse, Commons
Nottingham Forest (A) 3-2 Hulse, Green, Commons
Plymouth Argyle (A) 3-0 Teale, Hulse (2)
Manchester United (H) 1-4 Addison

Birmingham City (H) 2-0 Campbell, Southern
Queens Park Rangers (H) 0-3
Crystal Palace (A) 1-0 Campbell
Doncaster Rovers (H) 2-3 Vaughan, Campbell
Ipswich Town (A) 1-1 Baptiste

Match Prediction:

Hopefully the United defeat hasn`t taken too much out of the side and, despite Blackpool`s away form, the recent run of form in the league should continue here with a 3-1 victory pushing The Rams further away from the relegation area.

Next Fixtures:

21st Feb v Nottingham Forest (Coca Cola Championship) City Ground


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