Writer: Peter Simcox
Date:Monday June 4 2007
Derby County has a number of loyal supporters and a large number of them live overseas. In Australia the Rams fans are as passionate as all the others and Rams boss Billy Davies took time out to talk to them, before the play-off`s began, through Derby Vitalfootball. Firstly Billy I must, on behalf of Rams fans down under, congratulate you and the team for the season to date. We've been starved of success and being 10,000 miles away, when we're not winning we don't get a mention in OZ.
Davies said: "That's very kind and thank you very much to all of you Rams fans out there in Australia. I know there are plenty of you out there roaring on the Rams from the other side of the globe and your passion and pride in your club is nothing short of amazing.
"It's been a long and challenging season but everyone connected with the club is delighted it's been a successful one. We are of course disappointed we didn't gain automatic promotion but to finish third and reach the play-offs after all the problems this club has had on and off the field of play in recent years is superb in itself.
"We have a long-term plan to bring success to this club and year one was mapped out to be all about consolidation. However, we've gone one step further than that and finished much higher up the table than most people
- myself included - would have expected when the season kicked off, so we should all be very proud."
The Rams were desperately close to relegation to league one last season but the arrival of Davies turned that around, and he has installed passion, and sometimes that passion may get him into trouble, but Davies wouldn`t change a thing.
Davies said: "I've certainly got plenty of passion, and that's something that will never change. I'm determined to continue being a successful manager and yes, it's true, I am very animated on the touchline. However, as I keep pointing out to the press back here in England, although I've been sent to the stands three times this season I have been completely cleared by the FA of any wrongdoing in two of the cases and have an appeal pending against the other - so maybe I'm not the troublemaker I'm made out to be in some quarters!"
Davies has worked as a player at Rangers, St Mirren, Leicester City, Dunfermline Athletic and Motherwell, and he was asked if he picked up any traits from his former managers to help him in his coaching career.
"You pick up a little bit of something from everyone you work with and I've been lucky to work with some excellent people and still do as there's some excellent staff here at Derby County, from the top to the bottom of the club," said Davies.
He added: "But, as I've always said, I don't think there's any big secret to being successful in football - for me it's all about putting in the hard work, doing things the right way and having the desire and determination to achieve things in the game. I'm delighted to say that the squad of players we have here at Pride Park have all shown plenty of those attributes this season."
Next week Davies speaks of the competition for places in the Rams starting line-up after the January transfer window, the loyal supporters at Pride Park and his advice for young Australians heading to the UK to play.
Date:Monday June 4 2007
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