Nigel Clough in call to Derby County for one more big effort
NIGEL Clough has called for one more big effort from his Derby County side this weekend before the international break.
The Rams take on third-placed Brighton & Hove Albion at Pride Park Stadium tomorrow (3pm) as they aim to add to the four points they have collected from back-to-back away games.
Derby followed up Sunday's 1-0 victory over arch rivals Nottingham Forest with a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.
They will be hoping to round off the week in style against Brighton, after which there is a two-week gap until their next fixture.
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"Forest and Middlesbrough away inside a few days was never going to be easy, so we're happy with what we've got – and it sets up Saturday's game with Brighton nicely now," said Clough.
"A huge amount of effort has gone into the last two games and we'll be asking for one more big push on Saturday before the break to get another result."
Clough rested £1.2m signing Conor Sammon in midweek but the striker had a hand in Paul Coutts' late equaliser after coming on as a substitute for Nathan Tyson.
Theo Robinson started in place of the injured Jamie Ward (hamstring) and netted Derby's opener from the penalty spot.
"Having lost Jamie Ward to injury, we gave Theo a chance," said Clough. "We just wanted some fresh legs up there with him and Nathan Tyson.
"We gave Conor Sammon a rest. He has played seven games in a short space of time, having not really played for 18 months before that.
"But he showed what a handful he can be when he came on for half an hour."
Clough was left frustrated by Jeff Hendrick at Middlesbrough, taking him off immediately after the midfielder's headed clearance allowed Merouane Zemmama to set up Lukas Jutkiewicz for his second goal of the night.
The manager was also critical of Hendrick for conceding possession in the build-up to Boro's first goal, which came within three minutes of Theo Robinson putting Derby ahead from the penalty spot.
"Jeff is only 20-years-old and is still a bit up and down," said the manager.
"We love him to bits – we just wish he was a bit more consistent."