Date:Saturday August 9 2008
Rams v Doncaster - Preview
Let the season begin, the Rams entertains Simon O`Driscoll`s Doncaster Rovers to open their Championship campaign on Saturday at Pride Park (3pm).
All eyes will be on the Rams as they try to erase the nightmare of last season or suffer a hangover from their Premier League mauling, these questions and more will be answered come 5 O`clock on Saturday afternoon.
The Rams have meet Donny five times in Derby and are yet to lose; the last time was in the 1985/1986 third division season at the Baseball ground, which ended in a 1-1 draw. A sell out crowd is expected for the opening game and there is a sense of excitement in the city as the Rams look to rebuild
It`s a huge game for Rams Paul Jewell, as he goes in search of his first victory in a competitive match in his reign at Pride Park, and his activity in the transfer market has seen the boss stamp his mark on the side, not like last season when he inherited a side built by former boss Billy Davies.
It would be understandable if Jewell were nervous ahead of the big kick off but when asked how he was feeling, he replied: 'Nervous? No. Excited? Yes.
'I am not frightened by the challenge. I have been through a lot in my career, some good some bad, but I desperately want to do well for the support I have had here from the chairman and the fans.
'This is the best club I have been at as far as facilities and support is concerned.
'I would love to emulate the success I have had at other clubs here because the club is ready for it and the supporters deserve it," explained Jewell.
Jewell has a number of selection headaches for Saturday`s game, although defiantly missing are injured trio Lewis Price, Lewin Nyatanga and Giles Barnes. The Rams will also be missing Australian Ruben Zadkovich and American Benny Feilhaber who are on international duty at the Olympics, and will there be a place in the starting line up for last season`s skipper Robbie Savage?
Doncaster Rovers will be without summer signing Darren Byfield as he continues to recover from a hernia operation, while Adam Lockwood , Gordon Greer and Sean McDaid are also ruled out through injury.
Rovers` boss, Simon O`Driscoll is looking forward to the clash and a game in front of a packed Pride Park crowd. "'It all comes down to performances, if you want to stay in this division you have to play well and train even harder.
'Derby is one of the favourites to go back up and they will be under pressure to do so," said O`Driscoll.
The opening game is important to all teams in the league, and you have to win your home games and with this in mind I`ll go for Rams 3 Doncaster Rovers 1 - Come on you Rams!!!!!
Date:Saturday August 9 2008
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