The Rams will be looking to continue their good home form in front of the BBC television cameras against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. The Rams have won four and lost two of their games in front of home support this term, but Rangers are in a hot vein of form, having scored 14 times in their last 5 games. Admittedly, 13 of those have been at Loftus Road, but one of the away games was at Stamford Bridge against London rivals Chelsea, so they are likely to provide a tough test for Nigel Clough’s men.
Nigel Clough is supportive of the ‘wear white night’ the club is staging n addition to the actual fixture against QPR, ‘It is a good gesture to have the ‘Wear White Night’ and I feel it highlights a lot of issues,’ said the Rams boss, speaking to the official website, ‘We have a lot of servicemen coming down to the game as well and also the national anthem being sung before the game which is lovely, and all that goes hand-in-hand with the launch of our Poppy Appeal. We want to make something of the day. It shows a real sense of togetherness between the community and the club and hopefully it will set us off for a good game. We’re on show to the nation so to speak and given the game is on terrestrial television the audience will be very high, so it is a chance to show what we can do.’
New midfield signing Bryan Hughes is chomping at the bit to be involved on Saturday after being frozen out by former Rams boss Phil Brown at his parent cub Hull City. “I can`t wait to pull on a Derby shirt,” said the ex Charlton Athletic, Birmingham City and Wrexham man, ‘I got a call on Wednesday night to say Derby were interested in taking me on loan and I didn`t have to think twice about coming here. I`ve not been involved at Hull all this season so I`ve been looking to get out on loan and I believe this is a great opportunity to get out and play some football. I`ve missed it this year, especially working hard all week and, when it comes to a match day, not being involved. I can`t wait to play at Pride Park on Saturday and, hopefully, I can play a part in Derby climbing the table.’
QPR manager Jim Magilton, who scored a goal at Pride Park for Ipswich Town in his time as a player, knows the game will be a tough test for his side and is expecting top support from the club’s away contingent. ‘Pride Park is a bit of a hot-bed, so we’ll need the R’s faithful in full voice. They were there in their thousands at Chelsea and Newcastle, and their backing for the lads was outstanding. We’ve enjoyed a good run of form, and we want that to continue.’
Derby County Team News:
The Rams’ latest injury casualty is Jay McEvely, who is expected to be out for over a month with a fractured cheek bone he sustained in the defeat at Boro. Kris Commons, one of our many perennial crocks, also limped off having strained a hamstring earlier in the same game. Miles Addison, Chris Porter, Paul Green, Steven Davies, Giles Barnes, Stephen Pearson, Ben Pringle, Fredrik Stoor and James Vaughan make up the ludicrous injury list.
Player to watch: Lee Croft
The energetic winger has produced his best form at home, especially in the last home game where he scored his first goal for the club and laid on the second for McEvely. His crossing will need to be accurate to maximise Rob Hulse’s threat.
QPR Team News:
QPR’s excellent loan signing from Wigan Athletic, Ben Watson, begins his suspension for his second consecutive appearance with a red card. Rangers may have to do without Mikele Leigertwood and forward Jay Simpson.
Player to watch: Wayne Routledge
The tricky wide player scored against The Rams in this fixture last season, and has seven assists in the league already this season, more than any other player. He is incredibly quick, and Dean Moxey will have to be alert to his intelligent runs.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Middlesbrough (a) 0-2
Leicester City (a) 0-0
Sheffield Wednesday (h) 3-0
Cardiff City (a) 1-6
Bristol City (h) 1-0
Last 5: QPR
Reading (h) 4-1
Preston North End (h) 4-0
Swansea City (a) 0-2
Barnlsey (h) 5-2
Chelsea (a) 0-1
Ipswich Town vs. Derby County, Saturday 31 October 2009 15:00, The Coco-Cola Football League Championship