Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Saturday March 15 2008
Rams v Red Devils - Preview
Derby County v Manchester United
Saturday, 15th March
The Rams would have hoped for an easier match after Wednesday 6-1 mauling at Chelsea but Sir Alex Ferguson`s Manchester United are next off the rack at Pride Park on Saturday (3pm).
Derby manager Paul Jewell has warned his team they face getting 'tortured' by Manchester United on Saturday if they fear the champions, and he joked that he might have this weekend off.
The Rams boss has demanded his team show courage and hopes they will be 'stung into action' by Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who will also look to bounce back after their 1-0 FA Cup loss to Portsmouth last time out.
Jewell was asked if a game against United was the worst possible fixture on the back of Wednesday's defeat at Stamford Bridge, Jewell replied: 'It can be if we don't approach the game in a positive manner.
'We have to approach the game by being brave on the ball and off the ball. We have to try and get stung into action somehow.
'I was a little bit embarrassed the other night against a wonderful team and we are playing an equally good if not better team tomorrow.
'In football you always have a chance. If the lads go out there and give it everything they've got but get beaten by the better team no problem.
'It's when we have that little bit of fear, we shouldn't be fearful of playing a football match.
'We have to try and get rid of that fear. If we are fearful of playing Manchester United tomorrow they'll get tortured.'
The former Wigan boss, who is yet to win a league game as Rams boss, admits the truth is County are unable to compete with the teams in the upper echelons of the league because they are simply 'not good enough'.
'After games it's very difficult for me going to press conferences,' he added.
'You're asked your opinion on players and you're hurting so much sometimes you speak when probably you're better off saying nothing. I've lambasted the players and said they weren't good enough.
'They're just a little bit out of their depth. I'm not saying they all are, they're not bad players at all but we're lacking in certain areas and we've been punished for that.'
In Rams team news defender Alan Stubbs will miss this weekends clash, the veteran defender limped off injured a calf after only 13 minutes against Chelsea and faces up to three weeks out. Another who is struggling is midfielder Stephen Pearson who faces a late fitness test.
Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz hopes the Red Devils can bounce back after their FA cup defeat. He said: "We were very down after the FA Cup game against Portsmouth last Saturday; it was a bad feeling because we felt the trophy escaped from our grasp.
"There is a lot of frustration and sadness amongst the team and the staff, but the most important thing now is to show the right attitude, the Manchester United attitude, and bounce back from what happened. We need to keep moving.
'We cannot rely and expect other teams to make mistakes in our favour. This is a crucial part of the season and there is no room for error on our part,' Queiroz added.
In United`s team news goalkeeper Ben Foster will make his long-awaited Manchester United debut, with Edwin van der Sar injured and Tomasz Kuszczak suspended.
Foster, who spent two seasons on loan at Watford, has only just recovered from a long-term knee injury. A couple of players are doubtful for the sell out clash Louis Saha and Ryan Giggs will be given late fitness tests.
Derby (from): Carroll, Leacock, Moore, Todd, McEveley, Lewis, Edworthy, Savage, Pearson, Jones, Miller, Earnshaw, Ghaly, Villa, Robert, Price, Sterjovski.
Man Utd (from): Foster, Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Hargreaves, Nani, Rooney, Tevez, Scholes, Giggs, O'Shea, Saha, Anderson, Park, Pique, Heaton.
Referee - Phil Dowd
Date:Saturday March 15 2008
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|3. Derby County||44||24||9||11||+30||81|
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