Date:Friday August 12 2011
So, the usual pattern of the start of Derby County's season has continued.
The opening game has been won 2-1 and the follow-up in the Carling Cup has been an embarrassing defeat to League Two opposition. Let the unpredictability of games 3-48+ begin!
The Rams travel to London to face Watford in the second league game of the season. The Hornets have only had one match this season, a 2-2 draw against Burnley, disappointing for them after surrendering a two goal lead.
Their league cup tie with Bristol Rovers was postponed after the well-documented trouble in the capital.
There are no indications of another postponement so Rams fans can travel safe in the knowledge that the game will go ahead.
Consistency is something of a rarity in Derby, and Rams fans have had to endure some dreadful seasons of late. Supporters deserve something to cheer about and a season of hope rather than yet another damp squib.
Let this be the year.
Rams manager Nigel Clough believes that the appointment of a new boss at Vicarage Road will provide the home side with an advantage: He said: 'It's Sean Dyche's first home game since becoming manager there, so we are expecting a good atmosphere.
'Warford had a decent draw away at Burnley on the opening day and will be looking to build on it.
'But we are concentrating on ourselves and getting our performance right.
'Last Saturday we did and won the game. On Tuesday we didn't, even for just 45 minutes, and paid a heavy price.
'It's good to have an opportunity to put that right straight away.
'It's going to be a very tough game and we know to compete we will need to work just as hard as we did against Birmingham City on the opening day.'
Watford manager Sean Dyche is relatively untroubled when it comes to injury worries.
Midfielder Stephen McGinn is the only man to miss out as he recovers from a knee injury.
Solid, if unpectacular, midfielder Eustace appeared to be on his way out of Vicarage Road to Pride Park in the summer, but signed a contract extension with The Hornets.
He would have provided experience and know-how for The Rams in the coming season.
The Rams are facing yet another injury nightmare and, all to predictably, it is the centre of defence which has been hit the hardest.
I won't bore you with the endless list of sidelined players, let's just say that Jason Shackell and Mark O'Brien will be lining up against The Hornets.
Striker Ward missed Derb'y home defeat to Shrewsbury Town as he was picking up his first international cap with Northern Ireland.
His harrying was sorely missed and he is a certainty to reclaim his place in the starting line-up.
Derby County last results:
Shrewsbury Town (h) 2-3
Birmingham City (h) 2-1
Watford last results:
Burnley (h) 2-2
Blackpool vs. Derby County, Wed 17th August, 20:00pm, The Championship
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Date:Friday August 12 2011
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