Preview: Queens Park Rangers vs. Derby County
A long trip to London on Tuesday night brings The Rams a second away game in four days and a chance to register a win for the first time in six games. A decent away result and 0-0 draw away at Sheffield Wednesday should give the side a little confidence although three points will surely need to be picked up in one of the next two matches if The Rams are to pull away from the drop zone. Relegation is a very real threat but Derby have enough quality to avoid it and a match against a side only one point ahead of them is as good an opportunity as a team is likely to grab a win.
Rams boss Nigel Clough was happy to see his side avoid defeat against Sheffield Wednesday and hopes to pick up the remaining points needed to secure survival sooner rather than later: 'It was important not to lose and so keep that gap intact. It is another point on board towards that 50, 51, 52 or whatever we are going to need to stay up,' said Clough.
'A couple of wins from the last eight games takes us to 50 points, and a couple more clean sheets on the road and we will be fine.'
QPR winger Lee Cook thinks there are good times ahead for his side under their new manager Neil Warnock: 'I`m really looking forward to impressing him and getting a few goals.
'It`s been a difficult season but we can finish on a high under the boss.
'At the end of the day he`s on our side now and I think because of that you stand more chance of winning.
'We can now go for it. Everyone knows we are working hard and pulling together. The work-rate of the boys has been upped by 20 per cent. I think there are good times ahead.'
QPR Team News:
Defender Damion Stewart hopes to be back in the QPR line-up after missing his side's 1-1 draw with Swansea at the weekend as the result of a suspension. Arsenal loanee Jay Simpson will return to the team after not being risked against Swansea. Neil Warnock rested him to avoid a potentially longer spell on the sidelines.
Player to watch: Adel Taarabt
The tricky 20-year old Moroccan winger has notched seven goals this season and is seen as a hot prospect for the future. He scored an excellent first-half free-kick to spark a 2-4 win for his side after The Rams led 2-0.
The Rams Team News:
Having been left out of the side at Sheffield Wednesday, Robbie Savage will be hoping to return to the starting line-up to face QPR. Nigel Clough said the player has a big part to play in the rest of the season, but he will assess whether he has been rested enough. Gary Teale, Lee Croft and Lee Hendrie are all vying for a return to the squad having all been laid off with reasonably long lay-offs.
Player to watch: Robbie Savage
A very important game and a very important player may return to boost The Rams. It is just Savage's type of game. He could be key.
Match Facts & Stats
Last 5: Derby County
Sheffield Wednesday (a) 0-0
Doncaster Rovers (a) 1-2
Reading (a) 1-4
Watford (h) 2-0
Last 5: Sheffield Wednesday
Swansea City (h) 1-1
Reading (a) 0-1
Sheffield United (a) 1-1
Plymouth Argyle (h) 2-0
West Brom (h) 3-1
Derby County vs. Leicester City, Saturday 27 March 2010 15:00, The Coca-Cola Football League Championship