Derby will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat at Doncaster at home against Middlesbrough, a side who they have a dreadful recent record against. Two 0-1 losses and a 0-2 defeat in the last three games, each with a dire performance, will hopefully see The Rams desperate to end the poor run and pick up three points at home, something which they have had to rely on all season long.
Nigel Clough thinks his Derby side are worried about the position they find themselves in, and that it impacts on their performances on occasion: “I think we’re tentative and a bit nervous in the position we’re in.
“We’ve not done very well away from home, even at places like West Brom and ended up on the wrong end of the result.
“Everyone is a bit nervous away from home and I think that showed in the first half.
“There aren’t enough people grasping the nettle in the team at the moment.’
Boro boss Gordon Strachan believes the trip to Pride Park will be a tough one: ‘I’m looking forward to it. Derby have been good at home but we’ve been playing some decent football and hopefully we can learn from the mistakes we’ve made.
‘Sometimes you are lucky and get away with making mistakes but we seem to get punished for ours.’
Derby County Team News:
Chris Porter is likely to miss out as he recovers from a virus which has kept him out for two matches. Nigel Clough has confirmed that goalkeeper David Martin will continue in goal in the absence of Stephen Bywater.
Player to watch: Rob Hulse
Hulse grabbed a good goal against Doncaster and will be keen to net against a side who have constantly tried to buy him for the last two transfer windows.
Middlesbrough Team News:
Middlesbrough boss Gordon Strachan doesn’t have any fresh injury worries but one of his January signings, Willo Flood, looks set to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Player to watch: Barry Robson
The man who moved from Celtic in January scored a wonderful goal in his side’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle. He has been a spark for Boro in recent weeks.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Doncaster Rovers (a) 1-2
Reading (a) 1-4
Watford (h) 2-0
West Brom (a) 1-3
Swansea City (h) 0-1
Last 5: Middlesbrough
Newcastle United (h) 2-2
Cardiff City (a) 0-1
QPR (h) 2-0
Nottingham Forest (a) 0-1
Blackpool (a) 0-2
Derby County vs. Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday 20 March 2010 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship