|Preview - Derby County v Reading|
Saturday, 28th Nov 2009 02:42
Can the Rams finally break the hoodoo Reading hold over us?
Derby County v Reading
Coca Cola Championship
Pride Park Derby
Saturday 28th November 2009 - 3:00pm
Current League Position: 20/24
Leading scorer: Rasiak 4 (lg)
Manager: Brendan Rodgers
Kit home: Blue & White Hooped shirts, blue shorts
Kit away: White shirt, green shorts
Last game: Reading 2 - 1 Blackpool
Quotes from the manager:
From the BBC following the first home victory since January;
"That was thoroughly deserved. We had a terrific start and hopefully people can see the growth and development in the squad. That's seven points from the last nine".
"I am a slow starter, but the last three games have shown that the performance and results are improving".
"It's a big credit to the players who have been carrying the burden of the home run but still kept playing with confidence".
"I got drenched going in to the middle of the pitch to applaud the supporters at the end but I would have slid there on my knees if I could have done."
Current Reading squad:
No. Position. Player
1 Keeper Adam Federici
3 Defender Chris Armstrong
4 Midfield Kalifa Cissé
5 Defender Matthew Mills
6 Midfield Brynjar Gunnarsson
7 Midfield Jay Tabb
8 Midfield Marek Matejovský
9 Striker Shane Long
10 Striker Noel Hunt
11 Midfield Jobi McAnuff
13 Reading Fans
14 Midfield Jimmy Kébé
16 Defender Ívar Ingimarsson (club captain)
18 Striker Simon Church
19 Midfield Hal Robson-Kanu
20 Midfield Jem Karacan
21 Keeper Ben Hamer
22 Defender Julian Kelly
23 Striker Grzegorz Rasiak
24 Defender Ryan Bertrand (on loan from Chelsea)
25 Midfield Gylfi Sigurðsson
26 Defender Alex Pearce (vice-captain)
27 Midfield Scott Davies
32 Striker Radoslav Vasilev
34 Midfield Brian Howard
35 Defender Shaun Cummings
48 Defender Darren O'Dea (on loan from Celtic)
Quotes from the manager:
Following the game against Swansea;
"We defended reasonably well for 80 minutes, but we are not quite in the mentality to see it through".
"We were not good enough going forward and gave the ball away far, far too many times. We couldn't put two passes together all evening".
"We have to take some of our home form and home play into the away games. Confidence is a big factor".
Current Rams Squad:
1 Keeper Stephen Bywater
2 Defender Paul Connolly
3 Defender James McEveley
4 midfield Paul Green
5 Defender Miles Addison
6 Defender Dean Leacock
7 Midfield Lee Croft
8 Midfield Robbie Savage (captain)
9 Striker Rob Hulse
10 Striker Kris Commons
11 Midfield Gary Teale
12 Striker Chris Porter INJURED
13 Keeper Saul Deeney INJURED
14 Defender Shaun Barker
16 Midfield Stephen Pearson
17 Defender Jake Buxton
18 Midfield Ben Pringle
19 Striker Giles Barnes INJURED
20 Striker Steve Davies
21 Midfield Dean Moxey
22 Midfield Arnaud Mendy
23 Defender Mark O'Brien INJURED
24 Midfield Jake Livermore (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
25 Striker Paul Dickov (on loan from Leicester City)
26 Midfield Lee Hendrie
27 Defender Fredrik Stoor (on loan from Fulham)
-- Midfield Reuben Zadkovich INJURED
29 Striker Greg Mills
-- Striker DJ Campbell (on loan from Leicester)
What the Bookies think:
Home win: 13/10
Away win: 13/8
First Scorer: Rob Hulse, Paul Dickov 5/1, Grzegorz Rasiak, Simon Church 7/1
Information for travelling fans:
Driving: Driving: Driving: its 130 miles to Pride Park Take the A4074 and A423 to the A34. Take the A34 to J9 of the M40 and head north to the Junction with the A43 Link road to the M1. Then take the M1 north to J25 for the A52 Brian Clough way to Derby. Pride Park is on your left as you head into the city.
Parking: Away fans should park at Catalyst on London Rd opposite the Navigation pub. It’s about 10-15 minutes from the ground. Don’t be tempted to park at Pride Park shopping centre unless you fancy being clamped. You can also park for a £5 at the hospital further up London Rd near the hospital and the Railway station.
Another alternative is to pass the exit for Pride Park on Brian Clough Way and head for Pentagon Island. Take the first exit and turn left and after a few hundred yards you will come to The Cattle Market Car Park. It’s about 10 minutes walk to the ground from here.
Drinking: There are a few pubs very close to the ground but if you come by train, the locale around the station is fairly inviting. The Crown and Cushion at the junction of London Rd always seems to be full of away supporters. The Brunswick is a must for any real ale fans and the Alexandra next door is my personal favourite. Fans tend to mingle in these pubs and as long as you’re not being aggressive, the atmosphere is good.
The Waterfall opposite the station is okay as well. If you are driving, the Navigation Pub on London Rd opposite the parking area is your best bet. Around the ground there's a Frankie & Bennie's, Harvester and the Pride Park but these tend to be very busy.
Nigel Clough is right that we managed to defend well for 80 minutes against Swansea but when you go out to play with 10 men behind the ball with the intention of playing for 0-0 what do you expect?
The statistics from that Friday night are there for all to see: 33% of the possession and 1 shot on target - though those present can't remember that shot - and no shots off target? Most fans who made it there had a struggle in the traffic and for the first time ever they are starting to ask "what is the point?"
Throw in a couple of bad games at home and the writing may be on the wall for Clough. The fans don't want to see negative stifling play, they want creativity and chances created. Even Wigan who got mauled 9-1 by Spurs managed more shots and had more possession than us. The fans don't mind losing (and against an in form Swansea that was always on the cards) they mind the team not even making an effort.
People call on the fans to be realistic - when has football ever been about realism? If we were realistic we'd spend our Saturday afternoon's (and Friday & Tuesday nights …) doing something more productive and perhaps taking in the odd Manchester United or Chelsea game on the TV.
We don't expect the Rams to win every game - we don’t expect world-beaters. We do expect effort, commitment, attacking football and a bit of flair.
Today's DET has Shaun Barker calling for an improvement in the team's away form - and warns that they cannot rely on home form to keep them up. He's right - but don't be frightened Shaun, go out there and enjoy yourselves, attack, fight for possession, don't give an inch and make us proud of the team. Nigel, change the tactics if it isn't working, don't blame individual players and don't pick Teale!
Too much to ask?
Bywater, Stoor, Barker, Leacock, McEveley, Savage, Livermore, Green, Pearson, Hulse, Dickov
Subs: Teale, Croft, Campbell, Hendrie, Moxey, Addison, Porter
Prediction: I'm going for the win, 2-0 to the Rams.
Photo: Action Images
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