The Rams face another stern Pride Park test against a Reading side undefeated in five. Despite that, they have only picked up two more points than Nigel Clough’s Derby in that period, as they have drawn all five of the them. Derby have lost four games from five, but they still remin strong at home and were perhaps unfortunate to lose the last three matches after some questionable refereeing decisions.
Rams manager Nigel Clough remains confident in his side despite the poor recent run of results and has taken positives from the Bristol City defeat last weekend: ‘We want to stop the run of defeats as soon as possible,’ added Clough.
‘We have lost three games without playing badly and we are all too aware that can happen in this division.
‘It is funny how you can take encouragement from a defeat, which we did at Bristol City.
‘You get down after defeats, depending on the circumstances, but we are not particularly down because we played well against Bristol City.
‘We feel much more encouraged than we have done recently because of the manner of the performance on Saturday.
‘We want to play like that again. We want to convert our play and chances into goals and that’s what was lacking on Saturday.’
Ex-Rams defender Andy Griffin knows the Pride Park clash will be a tough one, but believes his side can emerge victorious: ‘Any score line which sees us nick three points tomorrow would be ideal, but it`s going to be tough and it`s going to be physical.
‘The way we`re playing, we`re confident so we`re going to go up the motorway and try and get the victory.
‘Our aim is to get the three points and if we don`t win then make sure we don`t lose.’
The Rams Team News:
Robbie Savage is expected to return to the side after missing the Bristol game with an ankle knock, although his defensive-midfield partner James Bailey is less certain to come back following an illness. Tomasz Cywka may be rested after Nigel Clough hinted he may need a break.
Player to watch: Kris Commons
This is getting boring now. Commons is on fire at the moment and if he isn’t scoring goals he is creating chances and working hard. He needs help in both areas as we are becoming too reliant on his talents.
The Royals Team News:
Ivar Ingimarsson may feature for Reading after featuring for the reserves during the week. Brynjar Gunnarsson is also training but the game has come to soon for him.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
After an inconsistent start to his Reading career, Kebe has been superb for the last year and is one of the most potent goal threats in the league from a wide position.
Match Facts & Stats
Leicester City (a) 0-2
Scunthorpe United (h) 3-2
Norwich City (h) 1-2
Bristol City (a) 0-2
Cardiff City (h) 1-1
Norwich City (h) 3-3
Watford (a) 1-1
Leeds United (h) 0-0
Coventry City (h) 0-0
Derby County vs. Doncaster Rovers, Sun 26th December, 15:00pm, The Championship