Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Thursday July 23 2009
Gulls v Rams Preview
Derby County continue their busy South West tour, with a game against League Two side Torquay United at Plainmoor tonight (7.45pm)
After a 2-0 win in the opening game of the tour against Yeovil on Tuesday, which was a pleasing work out for Rams boss Nigel Clough, he hopes to continue the side`s improvement against the Gulls. "It was a highly competitive game and even had a bit of edge to it, without ever having a silly tackles or risking players getting hurt.
'It was exactly the type of test we were looking for at this stage of our build up for the new Championship season,` Clough said.
For tonight`s game Paul Green and Chris Porter will again sit out, both missed Tuesday`s victory over Yeovil. Midfielder Green jarred an ankle against Chesterfield on Saturday and striker Porter is still recovering after taking a knock in training late last week, but Clough still hopes they can play some part in the tour.
"We are probably not going to risk them, having not done so in the Yeovil game," said Clough.
"We might as well leave it to Saturday and give them that extra couple of days to be fit to face Exeter City."
Clough expects a similar test tonight against Torquay. "All these teams are going to give us that and we expect the same from Torquay," he said.
"They are newly-promoted, a League Two side now, while Yeovil and Exeter is only one division below us."
A couple of the club`s younger players could join up with Derby`s squad today, including midfielder Arnaud Mendy, who played against Chesterfield and then scored at Belper on Monday night.
For Torquay boss Paul Buckle it`s a chance to see his team play against higher opposition and see we`re they are at. "On paper tonight's game against Derby should be tougher than last Saturday's 4-1 loss to League One Bristol Rovers. I was happy with some aspects of our game but whenever we made a mistake against Rovers, they punished us.
'That`s what happens against higher opposition, we have to be mistake-free, which isn't easy at this stage. Derby are in the Championship and have just won at Yeovil, so it's going to be another massive test for the players," said Buckle.
Former Gulls loan striker Blair Sturrock is poised to play tonight, while United's big goalkeeper Scott Bevan is also hoping to make his first appearance of the pre-season campaign after missing out so far with an achilles tendon injury.
Sturrock, the former Dundee United, Plymouth, Kidderminster, Rochdale and Swindon forward, is working out with United on a comeback from a knee ligament injury sustained during last season's Blue Square Premier Play-Off Semi-Final Second Leg at Histon.
The 27-year-old Scot, a free agent after being released by Swindon in May, scored twice in seven appearances on loan near the end of last season.
It's not certain whether skipper Chris Hargreaves, who has been avoiding 'contact' stuff so far after a nose operation, will play.
But definitely out is right-back Lee Mansell because of a bout of illness which will keep him at home for a couple of days.
Entrance prices to the game at Plainmoor tonight is Adult - £10, concessions - £8, under 16`s - £4
Rams squad - Bywater, Connolly, McEvely, Barker, Addison, Randall, Croft, Savage, Pearson, Teale, Varney, Deeney, Davies, Moxey, Pringle, Buxton, Beardsley, Barnes, Mendy
Gulls squad: Bevan; Brough, Nicholson, Ellis, Robertson, Todd, Mansell, Sills, Benyon, Joyce, Wroe, Thompson, Rice (gk), Carlisle, Hodges, Hatch, Carayol, Stevens, Adams, Beattie, Palmer, Yeoman, Fisher (gk), Sturrock.
Date:Thursday July 23 2009
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