Derby County's home strike rate causes worry for rivals
OPPONENTS are wary of Derby County's attacking threat at Pride Park, according to coach Johnny Metgod.
Nine goals have been scored by the Rams in three successive home wins against Blackpool, Barnsley and Birmingham City.
They hit four against Blackpool and three against Birmingham City on Saturday.
Add to that the three they put past Charlton Athletic in September and the five they scored against Watford the same month and Derby's tally reads 21 goals in nine home games in the League going into tonight's Championship clash against leaders Cardiff City.
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Only high-riding Crystal Palace have scored more at home this season.
When asked if he felt Derby needed to tighten up defensively, having conceded seven in their last three games, Metgod said: "Yes, but I think teams are wary of us scoring the goals as well.
"I think any team that plays us will be wary of the way we play, the way we attack and the way we create opportunities to score goals.
"We'd love to be tighter but you also have to recognise that is difficult to be very, very solid with the players we have.
"It is an area in which we have to improve if we want to have better away performances in the sense of keeping clean sheets to hang on to a 1-0 lead."
Only three points separate Derby and sixth-placed Millwall ahead of the Rams' fixtures against Cardiff and Leicester City this week.
Metgod says there are 28 big games coming up and not just the two in the next five days.
"Just because we are playing against the leaders doesn't mean it is a bigger game than playing against anybody else," he said.
"One thing, it is probably easier for a player to play against the league leaders because you do not need any motivation."
Derby have lost their last four matches against Cardiff, but striker Conor Sammon and his team-mates have their sights on a fourth consecutive home win.
"Cardiff are a brilliant team. I think they've shown that in this division over the years," said Sammon.
"We just have to take the momentum from our victory over Birmingham, get the fans right behind us again and try to kick on."
All four of Sammon's goals this season have come at Pride Park, including two against Birmingham at the weekend.
Crystal Palace - 24
Derby County - 21
Blackpool - 20
Cardiff City - 20
Leicester City - 20
Bristol City - 19