Rams could be missing Johnson and Lawrence for trip to Ipswich

Derby County boss Gary Rowett brings his high-flying side to Portman Road this afternoon. Picture: F

Derby County boss Gary Rowett brings his high-flying side to Portman Road this afternoon. Picture: FOCUS IMAGES - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Derby County could be without two key men for this afternoon’s trip to Portman Road.

Boss Gary Rowett told a press conference that former Norwich City star Bradley Johnson was ‘touch and go’ after he was injured in a heavy fall during the Rams’ 0-0 draw with Hull City on Boxing Day.

Ex-Town loanee Tom Lawrence injured his ankle in the same game, though he has a better chance than Johnson of being involved at Portman Road.

The Rams were beaten 1-0 by the Blues at Pride Park back at the end of November, but since then have kept five straight clean sheets, dropped just two points and climbed up to fourth in the table.

- MORE: Town team news – Skuse set to miss out

They are unbeaten in eight games on the road, and are looking for their fourth straight win at Portman Road.

Of the clash, boss Rowett said: We have to be a little bit more patient and make sure we take our chances when they come, and I’m sure we’ll have to deal with a different approach because I don’t believe they will sit in quite as much as they did away from home.

“They scored an early set piece and it was smash-and-grab for them because we dominated the game and they had very few chances.”

- MORE: Watch Mick McCarthy’s pre-Derby press conference

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He added: “Ipswich is a difficult place to go, their home form is very good, they’re going well and they can put you under pressure if you don’t play with energy so we will make changes but I’m not sure how many.

“We’ve got a lot of players but at the moment we’re doing a lot of things well and there are some things that you don’t necessarily want to change.

“I’m not necessarily going to replace eight players, but we can make small adjustments and hopefully it won’t affect what we do.”

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