Often Partisan

Ram Raid? Derby County Preview

Lee Clark will be looking for a response from the team as he takes Blues the short distance to Derby County looking for a win and to bounce back from a heavy defeat against Leeds United.

Derby County

Steve McClaren’s men are running high on confidence at the moment after a good win over Watford which puts them eighth in the Championship table and they will be looking to continue their good form against Blues.

American defender Zak Whitbread has a calf strain and will miss out meaning the big choice McClaren has is whether to go with Jake Buxton or the on loan Andre Wisdom in defence. The other choice could be to drop teenager Mason Bennett for Simon Dawkins who spent last season on loan across the expressway.


Clark has a couple of injuries to worry about; Jesse Lingard is definitely out and joins Jonathan Spector, Akwasi Asante and Neal Eardley on the sidelines whilst Tom Adeyemi will require a late fitness test. Callum Reilly is fit however and could come in instead of Olly Lee in the middle. Shane Ferguson would be the natural replacement for Lingard on the left, but Clark might decide to shuffle the formation somewhat.

This is going to be a tough one for Clark and a test of his character. I think he may need to look at his formation and maybe think about giving Dan Burn a rest after a couple of poor performances; whilst Mullins could fit in at the back I’d be wary of how slow a backline of Robinson, Mullins and Bartley would be. Nikola Zigic is apparently still not completely ready to start but I think Clark may have to go with the Serb purely to give Blues a presence up front.

I’m worried for Blues with this one; I didn’t see the Leeds game but losing 4-0 is never good and I think Blues might be in for more trouble today. There needs to be a performance from the side and Clark knows that.

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64 Responses to “Ram Raid? Derby County Preview”

  • sutton apex says:

    4 5 1 and stop the rot – big zig up front and put balls in the box for him. Fear the worst – 3-0 to the rams

  • mark says:

    Dan – you know me forever positive, and a so call happy clapper……….surprises alway happen football I going with blues to win there next two games, and everything will be dandy…….lol. I will be setting out later after my big breakfast to give my moral support for the lads….dan just take easy in hk dont worry about us lol………….

  • mark says:

    Sutton- I have been saying for some time now about 451, but its like any formation played the players have all got to be top of their game……..people having a pop at formation…… The players need to take a look at themselves, and say how much do I really want this…….last few games have been players at fault not the manager imo……..

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Absolutely agree 100% with that mark. It’s down to the players, not Lee Clark. If they put half as much effort into their jobs as the manager does, we’d be flying now.

      • Art Watson says:

        There an old saying Staffs.

        “Don’t work hard -work smarter.”

        Sad to say Clark is not a smart manager and never will be.

        His management style is the prime cause of our precarious league position-check his record since joining the club Staffs -it’s appalling and it won’t get any better.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m not blinkered to the managers faults, but for me, our poor start (as with last season) is down to individual errors. No manager can be blamed for those. He wasn’t a bad manager when we were beating Millwall, Wednesday and Swansea. Every time, it’s down to players making cock ups. It’s time for the players to man up and do the job properly.

          • Art Watson says:


            You are much to loyal to this manager and your argument is flawed!

            He’s only won 18 games out of 58 in this league and don’t you think we should expect to beat Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday at home.

            Can’t wait to get rid of him

          • Chris W says:

            His record may not be great, it wasn’t that great at Huddersfield either, but they were solid and did as we do play some attack minded football.
            He is working with little help or financial clout from our owners, I believe a lot of the problems last season lay within the clubs dressing room and he has now bought in players who are willing to fight for the club, they may not be the Rooney’s or Van Persie’s, they are never going to set the league with razzle dazzle football, but the will and are giving 100%+ as is Clark.
            Everyone wants Clark out, everyone wanted Mcleish out, Bruce,…. the list of managers goes on and on… Who would be willing to work under the current climate, Mcleish walked, Hughton walked, Roy Keane, Alan Curbishley, Mick McCarthy all turned us down….
            Paladini is banging name around just for the sake of it, Warnock, Atkinson, both old fashioned and out dated, Clark is a young manager learning the ropes and making mistakes, even the great Sir Alex struggled at Man U when he first arrived, was it not 4 or 5 seasons before he found the right formula , and he was backed with all the financial clout possible.
            We support BCFC as a team, that team comes with a leader, Robbo on the pitch and Lee Clark off the pitch, stop whinging and support the TEAM all of them because at the moment they are the best we can afford and they ARE BCFC

          • skareggae72 says:

            The truth is we are a poor side with a poor manager,with little resources,poor players make more bad decisions,the likes of McFadden & even Tebily would walk into this side now.
            At the start of the season we were told pace and youth was the way forward,but pace is severely lacking!

            I can only see another defeat today against a rejuvenated Derby,and with Barnsley playing Sheff Wed we are almost certain to go deeper into the mire,yes we will win games,even Palace will win games with their limited squad.

            The positive is the worse things get the more likely Yeung and co are to clear off.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            Good post Chris. Agree 100%.

        • Frankie says:

          Brilliant Art.
          Yes, Clark to blame for defensive mistakes that cost ud the last 2 games.
          Can’t believe Lee messed up that cross against Bolton or why he dashed out of his area against Leeds.
          Funny thing was, didn’t even look like him either.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I never understand the reasoning that we should be expected to beat this team and that. We have no divine right to beat anyone.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’d agree with sutton apex and go with 4-5-1 and stick to it, at least for a few games. When all your strikers aren’t scoring, I think it’s best to go with one just striker (the most effective one) and support him from behind. I’m hoping Adeyemi is fit, because we certainly missed his drive and energy last week.

    I think Burn will be ok, it’s Bartley that worries me, he’s too slow, he doesn’t make enough effort to mark his man and his head drops far too quickly for me. One other thing that bothers me, is that we often play with 3 left-footers in defence, which imo, makes us a bit lopsided. But, I’d have to go with the two best CBs we’ve got.. and that’s Burn and Robbo. It’s also time to give Hancox and Fergie a go too. Murphy seems a bit off the pace as yet.

    Foir me, I’d go with:


    Caddis Burn Robinson Hancox

    Burke Elliott Adeyemi Reilly Ferguson


  • Royalblue says:

    I agree staffs, Burn will be ok it’s just a wobble. He is a very good player.
    But 4-5-1? Please no, hoofing it up to zig is just boring and doesn’t work!
    We have been playing some nice stuff, Leeds aside, so let’s not panic.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      With the 5 in midfield, that puts 3 in the middle to keep things tight, which will allow the widemen to do what they’re supposed to do… attack the full back and get in behind. Just because you have a tall target man up front… that’s NO excuse to bang long balls up all the time. It’s a limited player that resorts to that. No, get in behind and then find your target man.

  • pierre says:

    any truth in the daily mail report that the club wood
    be in administration if not sold before xmas

  • Richard Granfield says:

    What is the point of Scott Allan remaining on loan? He is not included in either the first team squad or the Development squad. He hasn’t played and there seems no prospect of him playing in the foreseeable future. We may as well send him back and save his wages.

  • Chris W says:

    We need at least a morale boosting display today, clean sheet, so we need to be at our strongest at the back. Murphy has had a good run but may need a rest as he looked a little sluggish Sunday.
    If Adeyemi isn’t fit them Reilly has to play along with Ferguson in midfield, and Ziggy up front in a 4-5-1 or with Green in a 4-4-2.
    Whatever the formation we need 11 players ready at 3 pm to fight, battle and be in the faces of Derby not like the last two games when they were still in bed at the kick off.
    As always optimistic, but a sneaky 0-1 win to burst Derby’s bubble.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      This is my point Chris. It’s the players making the bad starts and committing schoolboy howlers that’s the problem. They need to start keeping it tight, for at least the first 20 minutes, frustrate the opposition, then impose our game from there. The players need to wake up and get on the ball from the first whistle.

      • Chris W says:

        We haven’t been beaten by better teams we have beat ourselves, the first two goals were absolute gifts all wrapped up for Leeds and the same with Bolton.
        I know that players make mistakes but, as you say, these are school playground errors. Hopefully they have got them out of their system, especially Randolph who has been exceptional and consistent until Bolton and Leeds.
        Looking forward to this one, a home game for me…. wife happy too, been shopping before the game and all put away….

  • dave mann says:

    weve got to remember what players we have got, loanes, bosmans, freebies, were not
    going to tear teams apart very often because the players are not good enough or
    consistent enough, otherwise theyed be some where else at this moment in time so
    lets just ride this storm and see what happens today and for the rest off the season.
    i told my son last sunday after leeds that it wouldnt suprise me if we beat derby because
    thats blues for ya……he agreed! KRO.

  • Northern Exile says:

    I can’t believe people are still going on about our problems on the pitch being down to Lee Clark.

    Wake up and smell the Chinese green tea – the club is on its knees financially, and as a result our squad just isn’t competetive. Lee Clark might not be Alex Feguson (nor even Darren Ferguson) but he’s trying to polish a turd every time he steps into the dugout.

    If we stay up, it might be more luck than judgement, but if we go down then Clark will hardly be the man to blame. Think of another man with C as an initial.

  • dave mann says:

    i aree Northern Exile, hes doing his best with what hes got though sometimes his selections
    do baffle me, particully novak last sunday but hes the manager and he lives or dies on the
    team he picks, if we stay up then he deserves credit, if we go down then he needs help. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Just like last season dave, he’s trying different things to find a formation and personnel that will work. He did it last season.. but we have to remember, he has an awful lot of new players again. Be honest, if we still had most of last season’s team, with 2 or 3 additions, do you think we’d be struggling now?

      If we get new owners and Clark is given a few mill to play with then, and only then, can you really judge him.

      • RichardM says:

        That’s the 6 milion dollar question though Staffs – let’s say Blues do get bought soon with the manager given say £10 million to invest.

        I agree Clark has been given a terrible hand to try and play with, but would you feel comfortable with giving Clark £10 million to invest in new players? Or at that point is it time to say “thanks for all your efforts – Lee, but we’ve appointed Tony Pullis / Ian Holloway to push the club in the right direction”

  • Roy Smith says:

    Although I am not a great fan of his I don’t blame Clarke for the majority of the problems this season, he isn’t on the pitch and can’t cut out through balls, make basic passes or catch crosses for the players. Even I would have felt embarrassed to have made some of the errors I have seen in recent matches and I’m a lousy footballer. I just wish he’d get over whatever his problem is with Zigic, there is obviously something wrong between them and it is to the detriment of the team. I thought it was a dead cert to play him last week and still can’t believe that he put him on the bench.
    Whatever the case, the real problem is sitting in a court in Hong Kong and until he goes we are going to struggle.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      There’s not a problem with Zigic. He’s just not fit enough yet. Even in the BM today, it states that he’s not fit enough for a full game. If he played a full game, and was then out for another month or two… people would be lambasting Clark for that too. He’s having to ease both Zigic and Murphy back in…. as he will have to do with Spector.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    3-0 to blues with Novak scoring a hat trick.

  • Retired&Weary says:

    I too have sympathy for LC in respect of the financial situation at the club, but I also have my doubts. On paper we have a reasonable squad of players for this level, the big issue I have is the continual tinkering with formations & player selections. Look at Burnley, they are not blessed financially as far as I know.

  • bluenoseneil says:

    We need to kick start our season but I fear Derby Away is not the likely place for it to happen.

    …..so on that basis 0-2 to Blues, Zigic header and Ferguson free kick.

    BOOM. Climb that table boys.


    comment edited

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I am reminded of Bill Shankly’s epitaph “He made the fans happy”.
    Carson Yeung’s will be “He made the fans unhappy”.

    • bluenoseneil says:

      I dunno….there were plenty of happy faces at Wembley 2 years ago. I think people’s memories are too short sometimes…

    • bluenoseneil says:

      Also re: Shankly he had a relatively unsuccessful start as a Manager with Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington and – see where I am going with this? – Huddersfield Town.

      To quote his autobiography: “Disillusioned by a board that wanted to sell his best players without offering money to buy replacements, Shankly felt stifled by Huddersfield’s lack of ambition and was delighted in November 1959 to receive an approach for his services by Liverpool.”

      Sound familiar? And you bet your ass nobody will be pinning medals on LC anytime soon, but I applaud the guy for his patience and work ethic nonetheless…

  • StaffsBlue says:

    When we beat Wednesday, Millwall and Swansea… it looked like we were turning the corner… I’m sure Lee Clark would have thought that too. Then more or less the same players turn in performances like Burnley and Leeds. We made individual errors in those games, that’s what’s cost us. If we can play as a team and keep it tight, we can start to climb the table. It’s down to cutting out those errors.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    According to bcfc.com, the highest scoring fixture between Derby and Blues, was a 5-5 draw at St. Andrew’s in April 1966. That’ll do for me. :-)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Not sure if it’s 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 yet.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Well done the lads…. and congratulations to Lee Novak. :-)

  • Chris W says:

    Well that was a better performance, well done to LC and the lads.
    We lived dangerously and had a bit of luck, their goal was a culmination of errors and mis-kicks at a time we were on top.
    I think losing Burke was a blow and we would have nothing up front, Gray came on and had a decent game, though he was bullied a bit at times, but he will learn from that experience.
    Have to say a special well done to Lee Novak, I had visions of that volley ending up in the stands, excellent technique…
    LC set out a stall and it stopped the rot, I hope.

  • mark says:

    Ziggy hitting the crossbar early on, great point against a team who’s on a bit of a run. Novak is that now three…… Shame about burke…well done to young gray……..kro

  • skareggae72 says:

    Well done,1 point more than I expected,lets hope the Burke injury is only short term,maybe just a day or two.

  • RichardM says:

    Agreed, great result – really pleased for Lee Novak. let’s hope this is just the start and he can prove his critics (including me!)

  • steve says:

    Been to the game today.Didn’t hold out much hope tbh after the first 15 – 20 minutes.We grew into the game and imo were unlucky to go in behind. Randolph seems to be over his uncertainty of the last couple of games and in the second half we looked a better side. Feel sorry for Ziggy,just because of his size,people think he should be unbeatable in the air.It’s only when he came here that he was used for his height. In Spain it was always played to his feet,where he played it off and attacked the box waiting for a return ball.Today though,i thought he caused chaos in their defence because of his size.Great finish by Novak,but he isn’t good enough to start unless we’re desperate.Great point against a team in form under a new manager.Brilliant away support as usual. Put Ziggy on the bench for Tuesday.He’s not match fit and we desperately need him if we are to stay up.

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    Trevor Francis walks on water!

  • Sh*t on the villa says:

    Im unsure if you like youtube links so sorry..


    KRO boys !

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