Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Saturday February 10 2007
Its February 10th 2007 today - remember that date as it may become a piece of Derby County`s history. If Billy Davies` side can keep a clean sheet today in the Championship game against Hull City at Pride Park, they will equal a club record set almost a century ago when Steve Bloomer, undoubtable one of the Rams` greatest-ever players, was scoring goals.
Yes only once in their 123-year history of our great club have the Rams kept six consecutive clean sheets in a season. That was back in April 1912 - getting on for 95 years ago - they shut out Chelsea (2-0 home win with Harry Leonard scoring both), Nottingham Forest (1-0 home win Leonard on target again), Leicester Fosse (1-0 away win, Bloomer on target), Fulham (0-0 away draw), Gainsborough Trinity (4-0 home victory with Leonard scoring a hat-trick and Jimmy Bauchop scoring) and Barnsley (2-0 away with Frank Buckley and Bauchop on target) and that season Derby won the Division Two title and were promoted back to the First Division.
The Derby side of today have kept five straight clean sheets in beating Sheffield Wednesday, Southend United, Bristol Rovers, Burnley and Southampton.
The Rams are on a high at present and a win today would also see Davies' team record a ninth consecutive victory, which hasn`t happened since March and April 1969 when a certain Brian Clough was at the helm of the club, that side created a club record by winning their final nine League fixtures, and no Rams team has ever won ten consecutive matches, so another record may be on the cards.
But Davies as we know is methodical about the way he approaches the game, and he will not be looking any further than the Rams game this afternoon.
Davies is more interested in points than records but is full of praise for the players' discipline, determination, work ethic and spirit.
'When you get that from players you can ask for no more and that's what we are getting,' said Davies.
He has praised his defence in recent weeks, the centre-back partnership of Dean Leacock and Darren Moore, which has helped to keep eight clean sheets in the last nine matches they have started together. Marc Edworthy and Mo Camara, who have been the full-backs in the last six League games during which only one goal has been conceded, and Rams keeper Stephen Bywater was also praised highly in the week by the 'Gaffer`, and he continued his impressive form in last Saturday's win at Southampton.
Yes records are nice to look back on, but when the season ends, nobody looks at wins, the clean sheet`s, all that matters is that the Rams reach their rightful place and if after 46 games in the Championship they are in one of the top two position, and the Premiership will be next season`s destination for Billy Davies side.
Date:Saturday February 10 2007
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