Bullard has rounded up Rams once already this season

JIMMY Bullard’s presence in the Ipswich Town side for tonight’s Championship game against Derby County at Pride Park (kick-off 7.45pm) has put the wind up Rams manager Nigel Clough.

Clough is badly in need of points with his side slipping down the table since their 2-0 victory at Portman Road on November 9.

Bullard played for Hull against Derby earlier this season and ran the game with Hull winning 2-0 to send Derby into the bottom three.

“Jimmy Bullard can affect a game,” said Clough. “He can have quite an influence on games, and on set-pieces as well.

“And in his first game for Ipswich he will be looking to impress.

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“But we want to concentrate on us tonight - on our team and on getting the team right.”

And talking about Ipswich, Clough went on: “Their brave performance against Arsenal in the Carling Cup, despite the defeat, will have lifted their confidence.

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“They beat Arsenal in the first leg, and got to half time 0-0 at the Emirates, so they were 45 minutes off getting to the final.

“I think that will have added a buzz to the place, as well as a new manager coming in and new player like Jimmy Bullard. We will have all that to contend with.”

Dean Leacock is suspended and Dean Moxey has moved to Crystal Palace and Kris Commons to Celtic.

Jake Buxton, Conor Doyle and Jeff Hendrick are expected to come into the squad with Gareth Roberts set to come in for Moxey at left back. Miles Addison could replace Dean Leacock at centre back.

Clough needs a win, and he added: “We have got to start winning again.

“It’s absolutely imperative, starting with the Ipswich game - the only thing that matters is getting a good performance and three points against Ipswich.

“With Portsmouth away on Saturday our next two games are against opponents below us in the table.

“It is an opportunity to put some distance between ourselves as we don’t want to be looking over our shoulder.

“We have done that in the last couple of seasons and we feel we have improved since then, but we have to prove it out there so that we don’t get dragged into anything near the bottom three.

“At Ipswich earlier in the season there was nothing in it for a while and then we got the first goal. We feel that is absolutely vital for us at the moment, especially for confidence.”

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