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Settling For Top Six Not Enough - Rams Must Aim For Automatic!
Tuesday, 3rd Dec 2013 10:42 by Daniel J Sewart

At the start of the season most fans were too nervous to even predict the Rams would make a genuine tilt at a play-off position but after recent results, Derby must aim higher and use their current momentum to now challenge for automatic promotion.

You may say I am putting the horse in front of the cart considering the Rams have only just broken into the top six, but once you have achieved that surely the mission should not simply be hanging on to a spot from 3rd to 6th?

Derby has a squad brimming with in form, confident players, who have been boosted by other quality squad members returning from injury to increase their depth.

A winning team with deserving players pushing hard to break into the starting eleven, what more could any fan want than competition for places? Genuine talent being kept on the bench, because those who hold the position are doing their jobs so well. Now that’s a problem all teams wish they had!

Paul Simpson said in an interview last week that aiming just for the top six was not enough. Despite the fact that he maintained the staff do not speak about the end of season position, he stressed if we are going to aim anywhere then why would we stop at top six, we should be always be aiming for top two.

I can’t agree more with that assessment as football is all about momentum and who can keep it going for the longest periods.

Currently Derby looks like a team that expect to win, a team that genuinely believes in themselves and what they are capable of achieving.

Jim Smith and Steve McClaren created a similar momentum once before and if the Head Coach and his team can keep spirits and belief at this high level; Derby could once again roll through the best the league can throw at them.

Speaking to the Derby Telegraph today, McClaren stressed that very point:

“We have got a busy week but we’ve started it very well and we need to back it up now. We have to take advantage of the result at Wigan by getting another one against Middlesbrough.”

“The Championship is a long, hard season. It is never ending as a player as you look to take advantage of the next game.”

“It is all about the squad, when I looked at it a few weeks ago we didn’t have that quality on the bench. Now we have and it can come on and keep the performance going.”

Reading these quotes and listening to McClaren, Simpson and Steele on BBC Radio Derby during the Monday night Sportscene program (which is available on iPlayer if you missed it - the positive nature of the show will have you feeling warm and fuzzy inside), makes you genuinely believe that on every level the current club set up believes that we need not wait, we have the talent now to challenge and aim high.

There are no signs in the media of the club telling us not to get carried away, nobody is saying temper your enthusiasm or to check your expectations, instead all signals are that McClaren, and all involved at DCFC, has said that the sky is the limit, lets not die wondering and see how high we can climb in 13/14.

There is such a buzz around Derby and its fans, with most Rams not having been this excited or hopeful for many a year. Whatever happens from here, wherever we end up come seasons end, this is a time to savour.

Make sure you absorb every last bit of the exciting football and the attacking intent that has swept through the whole club from top to bottom, on and off the field.

If at season’s end DCFC has once again risen to the dizzying heights at the top of the League table, make sure you have sucked every last moment of pleasure from the journey.

You could be forgiven for sitting back and waiting for the train to run off the rails, god knows it has happened enough in recent years, but if you do, you may regret that you were too busy with your hands over your eyes, waiting for a fall that never came.

Instead appreciate the scenery, breathe it in and enjoy the ride!


Photo: Action Images

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davram added 16:53 - Dec 3
Yes - there's a really positive buzz around Derby now (at least in regard to the Rams, anyway), but on last night's Sportscene phone-in, Steve Mac & Co were quite careful to present their sensible "game-by-game" approach.

Steve said wisely that it's the last dozen or so games when the season really starts - it's all about the team being in a position to challenge AT THAT TIME.

Bleating on about promotion right now will not be their mantra - that only puts more pressure on a team,, and could derail the players' focus.

Still, I'm glad that the ex-regulars, i.e. the pompous moaners who "don't like the Americans" or "how the club is being run" and made all the other school playground noises from their lofty perches are the dummies that could miss out on all the fun to come!

The fickle fans will just fade away, ever afraid of being wrong.

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