The Rams travel to Yorkshire to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, a location where the home side haven’t conceded in the last six games. The last goal was conceded against Newcastle and was an own goal in a 0-1 defeat but since that reverse they have been in imperious form.
Make no mistake, this game will be as tough as the Forest home game and the Newcastle away fixture, but Derby have got results in those fixtures and raise their game against the top sides. Nigel Clough’s call for consistency will hopefully yield a positive result against The Blades.
Striker Kris Commons hopes that The Rams have seen the back of the inconsistencies which have blighted the campaign so far this season: ‘We hope and believe last week is a massive springboard for us now to kick on for the rest of the season,’ he told the club’s official website.
‘It would be a shame if, come 3pm on Saturday, we were off the pace again, so we are very focused on performing to a consistent level and going on a charge up the table.’
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell acknowledges that The Rams will be buoyant after the victory over Nottingham Forest: ‘That was arguably their biggest win for two years so they will be full of confidence,’ said Blackwell in the build-up to the fixture.
‘They have quality players from back to front. In Stephen Bywater they have a highly-competent goalkeeper, they have Nicky Hunt and James McEveley, who have Premiership experience. Then there’s Robbie Savage and Kris Commons, who both have quality, and we know what we will get from Rob Hulse.’
Sheffield United Team News:
Blades skipper Chris Morgan will miss out having picked up a rib injury in the 3-0 loss against Watford. Possible replacements would have been Derby old boy Andrew Taylor and Marcel Siep but the pair are sidelined with hamstring injuries and Matt Kilgallon’s move to Sunderland has also left Kevin Blackwell’s side with real defensive problems.
Player to watch: Darius Henderson
The powerful forward signed for Watford for £2m and scored his first Blades goal last season against The Rams. He has 11 goals in 19 league games this season.
Derby County Team News:
Micheal Tonge should play against his former club after signing for the club for the rest of the season. Fellow loan signing Javan Vidal could also feature.
Rob Hulse should keep his place to face his old team and Kris Commons will probably partner him and Steve Davies will miss out with a knock.
Player to watch: Rob Hulse
Having struck in the Forest game to register his first goal for a while, Hulse will be confident of netting against his former club.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Nottingham Forest (h) 1-0
Plymouth Argyle (a) 0-1
Doncaster Rovers (h) 1-0
Peterborough United (a) 3-0
Millwall (h) 1-1 (Derby win 5-3 on penalties)
Last 5: Sheffield United
Watford (a) 0-3
West Brom (a) 1-3
Reading (h) 3-0
Bolton (a) 0-2
Middlesbrough (h) 1-0
Derby County vs. Derby County, Tuesday 9 February 2010 19:45, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship