Nigel Clough: Derby County flying high in character test
NIGEL Clough believes his Derby County team would top the table if the Championship were based on character.
Clough is full of praise for his players ahead of tomorrow's East Midlands showdown against rivals Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium (kick-off 1pm).
"I think we have got brilliant characters," said the manager.
"Whenever they have had a disappointment this season, they have bounced back within a game or two."
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Derby have lost back-to-back games on only two occasions this season – against Millwall and Crystal Palace in November, and Hull City and Burnley in December.
The Rams lost at Brighton & Hove Albion last Saturday and now they are relishing the opportunity of responding against Forest.
"The way we have approached every game at home this season has been positive, irrespective of the opposition," said Clough.
"We have had two very narrow defeats at home but we have beaten some good teams and some big teams at Pride Park this season.
"If the table was based on character, we would be top."
Derby have lost only two of 13 League matches at home and they have beaten the likes of Middlesbrough, Leeds, Blackpool and Watford.
Twenty-nine goals have been scored in the 13 matches and only two clubs have scored more goals at home – Crystal Palace (33) and Leicester City (32).
The Rams have also won their last three meetings with Forest. Despite their impressive home form, Clough insists Derby will still be the underdogs tomorrow.
"If you look at the two squads on paper, then we are the underdogs, but our home form means the game is perceived to be a little more even than that," he said.
Derby are three places and three points behind Forest.
The Rams' Championship fixture against Leeds United on Easter Monday will be shown live on Sky Sports.
As a result, kick-off at Elland Road on April 1 has been pushed back to 5.05pm.