The Opposition View: Derby County
By Jim Bonner
Updated Thursday, 19th April 2012
Luke Barraclough on Clough, Maguire and Varney.
How would you assess Derby's season overall? Has Nigel Clough done a good job?
After a great start we became very inconsistent where we had a few bad runs which was disappointing to see. Since the start of March we have picked up again which is pleasing, completing doubles over Forest and Leeds.
Overall we've had a good year in my opinion, bigger points total under Nigel too. Signs of progress are there, slowly but surely.
What's your opinion of Chris Maguire? He has been excellent since arriving from Derby on loan. Are the rest of your strikers actually better than him?
This is a hot topic our end recently, personally I think he's a very talented footballer and he hasn't been given a fair chance. I wouldn't say our strikers are better, they just offer a lot more in the form of work rate which is Nigel's favourite attribute in a player it seems.
Maguire and Clough appeared to have a bit of a problem with each other too which probably explains his lack of game time here. Pleased to see him doing well, especially his goal vs Saints!
Would you like Luke Varney back at Pride Park?
No, I wouldn't. It's not because I think he's a bad player, more him not fitting in with the current set up.
What are this Derby team's biggest strengths?
Over the season our defending overall has been pretty key, we haven't won many games convincingly so our defence has been called upon to see out tight games. Pace is another strength of ours now we have both Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson. Jamie Ward is nippy too.
With your season over, do you expect your team to make it slightly easier for Pompey on Saturday?
Not really, no. We're trying to finish this season on a high despite the past 2 results. We played very well on Tuesday against Cardiff, we just couldn't convert our chances. Our lads sound up for it so I wouldn't expect them to roll over and die.
Predict the outcome of the game.
Despite me saying we shouldn't make it any easier, I think your players will just want it more than ours, as your stakes are a lot higher than ours. 2-1 to Portsmouth.
|19 Apr 2012|
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|18 Apr 2012|
|The Relegation Battle Page|
|17 Apr 2012|
|Palace Win Keeps Pompey Alive|
|Team lineups: Portsmouth v Crystal Palace 17 Apr 2012|
|16 Apr 2012|
|Portsmouth vs Crystal Palace Preview|
|14 Apr 2012|
|Team lineups: Doncaster Rovers v Portsmouth 14 Apr 2012|
|13 Apr 2012|
|Doncaster vs Portsmouth Preview|