The Rams host The Royals on Valentine’s Day but will not be in a giving mood as they look to get back to winning ways after four games without a win.
The hard-fought point at Millwall was another excellent point and yet another clean sheet which is becoming a feature of recent league games for Nigel Clough’s side following the spell earlier in the season when a clean sheet never looked likely.
Reading are looking good for another play-off spot this season despite currently sitting just outside in 7th place. The recent signing of Jason Roberts shows real intent on the part of the club’s new Russian owners to reach the Premier League and if they continue to make such sensible signings with great pedigree they will achieve it.
Rams coach Johnny Metgod has paid tribute to Reading’s attacking trio in the build-up to the game: ‘They just wait for those one or two opportunities to come along from maybe (Jimmy) Kebe, Le-Fondre when he comes on as a sub, Church, (Jason) Roberts or (Noel) Hunt – they have got players who can score a goal out of nothing.
‘That is going to be a test for us. We have got to be in control of the game, and know that if we make one mistake – then they have got the players that can punish us.’
The Rams Team News:
Theo ‘Theo Theo’ Robinson will return to the Derby squad after missing three games with a calf injury. Steven Davies could also be involved following his fractured skull.
John Brayford could also return whilst Frank Fielding is fit to continue in goal despite requiring stitches for a head wound sustained in the closing stages of the Millwall stalemate.
Player to watch: Nathan Tyson
Striker Tyson is still looking for his first Rams goal and has looked sharp in the last two games.
Please Nathan, don’t get injured before the Forest game. We need you.
The Royals Team News:
Reading danger-man and captain Jobi McAnuff will sit out the match as he goes under the knife to sort out a groin problem.
Injured ex-Ram Andy Griffin will miss out through injury.
Player to watch: Jimmy Kebe
Unpredictable winger Kebe returned from injury to score against Coventry City at the weekend.
The Malian has become a key figure for the Royals in the last two seasons.
Match Facts & Stats
Derby County last 5:
Millwall (a) 0-0
Barnsley (a) 2-3
Stoke City (h) 0-2
Burnley (a) 0-0
Coventry City (h) 1-0
Reading last 5:
Coventry City (h) 2-0
Bristol City (h) 1-0
Hull City (h) 0-1
Watford (a) 2-1
Stevenage Borough (h) 0-1
Southampton vs. Derby County, Sat 18th February, 15:00pm, The Championship