On the final day of the Championship season, The Rams have the chance to go out on a high at home against midtable Peterborough United.
The season can be viewed as a success of sorts: Nigel Clough’s men were challenging for a play-off place but have ultimately fallen just short.
They are surely primed for an assault on the top six next time around.
The Posh, managed by Darren Ferguson, are in 18th place and have consolidated following promotion last season.
They also n view the season as successful given the departure of talismanic striker Craig Mackail-Smith to Brighton in the summer.
Come on Derby, send the fans home happy on the final day of football before the summer and the months of waiting for it to start all over again…
Rams manager Nigel Clough has called for a similar performance to that which his side gave against Birmingham City on the opening day of the season – a 2-1 win: ‘The first home game of the season against Birmingham was a cracker, and it will be nice if we can go out in a similar sort of fashion against Peterborough.
‘We would all love to finish on 66 points and that is what the lads were saying in the dressing room before Portsmouth last week; ’66 sounds a lot better than 60’, and it might well propel us to ninth or tenth in the league, which would be a very respectable finish.
‘Peterborough won’t want to finish the season with a defeat either, so they will come here and play with a lot of freedom. They are an attacking side and we like to get forward, so it will probably come down to who defends better on Saturday.
‘Both teams will certainly give it a good go; (George) Boyd and (Paul) Taylor are a major threat. Taylor in particular was very lively at their place earlier in the season, and we know Boyd from playing against him over the years; he has always done well against us.’
The Rams Team News:
Adam Legzdins is set to deputise for Frank Fielding after the latter suffered a groin injury in the first half of the victory over Portsmouth.
Jake Buxton and John Brayford are also doubts and could be rested to avoid what would be ultimate unnecessary long lay-offs.
Player to watch: Theo Robinson
With 11 goals, Theo, who has greatly improved this season, is one behind leading scorer Steve Davies.
He will be eager to outscore his fellow striker on the final day of the season and snatch the golden boot.
The Posh Team News:
Kgosi Nthle (18) and Charlie Coulson (16) could feature for The Posh after making substitute appearances at the weekend.
Gaby Zakuani will soldier on with a broken toe and dislocated shoulder.
Player to watch: Tyrone Barnett
Barnett’s former manager Steve Evans described the ex-Crawley man as the best striker outside the Premier League.
Whilst this may be stretching it a bit, he has done well since his arrival with four goals in 11 appearances.
The powerful striker will join Posh permanently from Crawley for a million pounds in the summer after the two clubs agreed a fee.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Portsmouth (a) 1-2
Cardiff City (a) 0-2
Middlesbrough (h) 0-1
Leeds United (a) 2-0
Ipswich Town (h) 0-0
Peterborough United last 5:
Watford (h) 2-2
Southampton (h) 1-3
Leeds United (a) 1-4
Nottingham Forest (h) 0-1
Coventry City (a) 2-2