Rams v Man City - Preview
Derby v Man City - Preview
January 30th 2008
7.45pm kick off
The Rams will hope to begin life under their new US owners on a high in tonight's Premier League clash against Manchester City at Pride Park (7.45pm).
With Saturday's cup defeat still fresh in the minds of many Rams fans, they and Paul Jewell will hope for a much improved performance from the whole side tonight.
They will be without defender Lewin Nyatanga for the game after he was sent off late on in Saturday's FA Cup loss. Also missing is American Eddie Lewis, who looks set to be sidelined for a month with knee cartilage damage.
The Rams will have Dean Leacock and Craig Fagan in the squad, Leacock was on the bench last week but has now fully recovered from injury, while Fagan returns after serving his one match ban.
Micah Richards (knee) could return for Manchester City after he missed the FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United, however, Michael Johnson remains sidelined with an abdominal strain.
Derby has lost their last five League outings, and 12 of the last 13. The current run of seven consecutive home defeats is an unwanted club record. Jewell said the new owners knew what shape the team is in right now and feels they should be congratulated on the takeover.
'It would have been easy for them to say we won't go for Derby County, we will go for a club that is maybe a safe bet to be the Premier League next season, but they haven't,' said Jewell.
'It is the same reason I have come here. I knew it was going to take a miracle to stay in the Premier League and if my remit had been 'we've got to stay in the Premier League or you are going to lose your job', I wouldn't have come.
'The long-term plan is an exciting one. The club excited me and the new investment was another tick in the box.'
Jewell will be handed money to strengthen the squad but with the transfer window closing at midnight tomorrow, the spending is likely to wait until the summer.
'It is the bigger picture we are looking at,' he said.
'I keep saying that to the supporters and they must think when is this big picture going to change. I am aware results have not been great and one or two recent performances have been nothing but disastrous. But it is important at a time like this you do not panic.
'I believe in the long-term plan.
'Andy Appleby asked me when I first spoke to him what my long-term aim was. He asked me if I was here for the long term or short term, and I told him I was here for the long term. He said that was great.
'Football is a volatile business and things can change very quickly but I am very comfortable with the takeover. I think it is great news for Derby County and if it is great news for the club, I am happy with that.'
The Rams are unbeaten in 14 home league games against Manchester City (10 wins, four draws) and they will hope to continue that tonight.
City are chasing their first double over Derby since the 1965-66 season after the 1-0 victory at the City of Manchester Stadium earlier in the season.
Derby (from): Price, Edworthy, Johnson, Villa, Earnshaw, Fagan, Miller, Teale, Todd, Davis, Moore, Leacock, Robert, Barnes, Pearson, Savage, Ghaly, Hinchliffe.
Man City (from): Hart, Onuoha, Dunne, Richards, Corluka, Ball, Hamann, Fernandes, Petrov, Vassell, Elano, Mpenza, Ireland, Sturridge, Geovanni, Schmeichel, Garrido, Jihai, Etuhu.
Referee - Steve Bennett (Orpington, Kent)