The Rams take on Coventry City on Friday night in a game which has taken on real importance, after the failure to pick up any points away against Ipswich at the weekend. That defeat left has left Nigel Clough’s team in 20th place, just two points above the relegation zone, and in desperate need of some home comforts and a three point haul. The Sky Blues sit just three points ahead of The Rams and a three goal margin of victory would ensure Derby would climb above them in the table.
Derby defender Jay McEvely could be in line for a recall after a near-death experience. Whilst undergoing a routine operation on a fractured cheekbone he sustained in the away match at Middlesbrough, his heart stopped for two minutes. Thankfully there are no complications, and the stopper has no doubts he can use the experience to charge his on-field performances: ‘The mask is really protective and it helps massively; it would have to be some blow for me to suffer more damage,’ Jay told the official club website, ‘It is very solid and wearing that I can be involved properly. I can’t play not being one hundred percent committed to every challenge. If I am lucky enough to play and there is a ball to be won, I’ll stick my head in there without a moments hesitation. If the mask doesn’t protect the cheekbone then I’ll just have to deal with the consequences, but I don’t want to be on the sidelines I want to be playing whether there are risks or not.’
Coventry manager Chris Coleman is gunning for a result at Pride Park: ‘We have lost a bit of ground because of our bad run of late. Also we’ve lost a lot of players to injury and illness, there’s no easy way to get out the run we our in. we’ve just got to keep chipping away,’ he said talking to the official club website ‘Derby are going to come at us from the off, we know that but we have to stand up to that and try and push forward ourselves, but pride park is a good place to go and play football, I’m looking forward to it.’
Derby County Team News:
Jay McEvely is back in contention for the game, and Stephen Pearson should make it having returned to the side in the last two matches with no ill-effects. Rob Hulse should return to the line-up having missed out on the Ipswich game as a result of a stomach bug, and Dean Leacock should feature after missing the last two fixtures with mumps. Kris Commons, Miles Addison, Chris Porter, Paul Green, Steven Davies, Giles Barnes,and Ben Pringle are all incredibly still out.
Player to watch: Stephen Pearson
We need some spark in midfield and if Pearo can run himself into the ground without sustaining yet another injury, he will be a big player for us.
Coventry City Team News:
Coventry City’s biggest loss is that of their star keeper Keiren Westwood who has a back injury. Dimi Konstantopoulos will deputise.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
A player who always seems to score against Derby. That alone is enough to see him awarded the ‘honour’ of key man, but he has 6 goals this term in an ailing team, twice the amount of our top scorer, Rob Hulse.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Ipswich Town (a) 0-1
QPR (h) 2-4
Middlesbrough (a) 0-2
Leicester City (a) 0-0
Sheffield Wednesday (h) 3-0
Last 5: Coventry City
Reading (h) 1-3
West Brom (h) 0-0
Cardiff City (a) 0-2
Sheffield Wednesday(a) 0-2
Leicester City (h) 1-1
Swansea City vs. Derby County, Friday 20 November 2009 19:45, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship