Derby looking to equal record
DERBY County are looking to equal an 11-year record as they go for their sixth consecutive Championship victory tomorrow night.With 34 points from 19 games already in the bag, fourth placed County have made their best ever start since the three points for a win system started in 1981.
By Derek Davis
DERBY County are looking to equal an 11-year record as they go for their sixth consecutive Championship victory tonight.
With 34 points from 19 games already in the bag, fourth placed County have made their best ever start since the three points for a win system started in 1981.
Little wonder then that Rams midfielder Seth Johnson fired a warning to his team-mates ahead of tonight's clash with inconsistent Ipswich Town.
The influential midfielder warned: “The higher up you are, the more other teams will be out gunning for you.
"Teams will want to beat you but that's when the quality has to come out and you show people what you can do. At the moment, we're doing that.
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"In the last few games, we've shown we can play but we've also shown we can mix it."
After similarly dogged victories in the previous home games - against Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion - Johnson insists Derby have come to expect a resilient approach from visiting teams.
He said: “The last three home games have been matches where we haven't played as well as we can," said the midfielder.
"Teams come to Pride Park and make it hard for us but, in the last three games, we've withstood that and taken nine points.
"We're on a good run at the moment and playing with confidence. But we don't want to get sloppy
"We've got to be right on our game every time.
"It might be a different kind of game to the Leicester match because Ipswich are capable of playing some nice stuff.
"But we'll be going out for the three points and our confidence is sky-high."
Victory over the Blues would see Derby complete a remarkable November, a month in which they have taken maximum points so far and making Billy Davies favourite to land manager of the month with Stoke's Tony Pulis his biggest rival after four wins from four games.
Davies, brought in by the new owners after a bloody boardroom battle, has been clever in the transfer market. He bought Steve Howard for £1m and he has delivered eight goals so far, while Jon Stead on loan from Sunderland has weighed in with three goals in three games.
The Rams have also secured highly-rated Manchester United midfielder David Jones on loan until January when the deal is expected to be made permanent.
Davies can afford to put out an unchanged side after beating Leicester City on Saturday but may consider resting Johnson and bringing back Morten Bisgaard. He also has the dangerous Arsenal striker Arturo Lupoli in reserve but is expected to stick with the three man attack from the weekend.