Derby County manager Nigel Clough says his side have plenty to do to stay clear of the drop zone
NIGEL Clough says there is still plenty of work to do before Derby County can feel safe in the Championship.
The Rams manager believes his team need possibly another three wins from the final nine games to steer clear of trouble at the wrong end of the table.
He voiced his concern after Saturday's 3-1 defeat by Birmingham City at St Andrew's.
Derby are without a victory in eight matches and have won only once in their last 11 League games.
They have slipped to 15th and the gap between themselves and the relegation places is down to six points.
They sit second bottom of the current form table but Clough is confident Derby can find the necessary points.
"There is certainly work to be done," he said.
"We have been looking over our shoulder for a while, don't worry about that.
"We have not been looking up too often.
"We've always had one eye on it because in the Championship when you get a few injuries and get on a bad run, it is very difficult.
"Every team is vulnerable until you get to that 50-odd points mark. We have known that for a few weeks and that is why we have been absolutely desperate to reach that mark.
"We have nine games to achieve it. We need another three wins or something like that but we think we will get them."
The Championship is congested. Five points separate 10 clubs from Burnley in 11th to Ipswich Town in 20th.
Derby led Birmingham until the 68th minute thanks to Ben Davies' third goal of the season before substitutes Wes Thomas (2) and Nathan Redmond scored as Birmingham roared back.
The win took Birmingham above Derby in the table.
"We've had tricky runs before and come through them, so we'll do the same now," said Clough, whose team face Leicester City at Pride Park in their next game.