Derby aiming to stave off drop for now
DERBY are out to delay what looks like an inevitable swift return to Midlands One East this weekend.
Relegation from National League Three Midlands could be confirmed if results go against them tomorrow.
Rock bottom Derby are currently 33 points adrift of safety, with only 40 more now available before the end of the season.
They travel to seventh-placed Bournville still looking for their first win of the campaign, having been promoted as Midlands One East champions last season.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I know it (relegation) is getting close and it's something we've spoken long and hard about," said head coach Roxy Fearon.
"When myself and Scott Johnson came in (after Christmas), we said that it would be almost impossible to avoid relegation from the position we were in.
"If we can stave it off for another week, that would be something.
"We want to finish the season with a bit of pride."
Derby were only narrowly beaten 42-34 when they met Bournville at Haslams Lane earlier in the season.
"We only lost by a few points the last time we played Bournville and got a bonus point," said Fearon.
"They were beaten 24-3 by Hinckley last weekend and we lost 24-6 to Hinckley a fortnight ago, so that suggests to me that we're at a similar level to them.
"I know they're at home but we're feeling positive about it. There is the opportunity for us to get something.
"It's still going to be tough, don't get me wrong, but hopefully we can get out of this losing habit.
"We're setting ourselves small goals – we want to get that first win and finish above (second-from-bottom) Mansfield if we can.
"Everybody really wants that first win. Then, hopefully, we can build on that."
Colts captain Lewis Hancock is set to make his senior league debut in place of injured centre Mikey Robertson (neck).
"He's done very well for the Colts and for the NLD Under-20s," said Fearon.
"It will be a good test for him and we'll see how he goes."
Another Colt, Josh Gundry, keeps his place at scrum half as Josh Tizard has not recovered from a hand injury, while winger Ross Atherton (knee) is fit again.
Phil Robinson returns to the bench, which will also include prop Bruce Pendrey, who has rejoined the club after a spell living in New Zealand.
"Bruce has played a few games for the seconds to build up his match fitness and has now put his hand up to say he is ready," said Fearon.