Nigel Clough looks for the right balancing act in quest for a better record on the road
NIGEL Clough says Derby County need to find a better balance in away matches.
Derby's home form is the fifth-best in the Championship behind Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Cardiff City, who can boast a 100 per cent record from nine matches.
The Rams' away record is less impressive.
Their tally is eight points from 27, although they have deserved more from their performances, notably at Wolves, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town.
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The 3-0 defeat by Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park is the only away game in which Derby could have no argument about the outcome.
But the points return on their travels needs a boost.
"We have to take our home form into the away games," said Clough.
"We've been a little reluctant at times to shoot and create chances away from home. We have to get it into our heads to play like we do at Pride Park, which we have done at times.
"We have played well on the road.
"The Wolves game comes to mind, certainly, and we played well down at Millwall.
"You also need a break now and then in away games."
Derby, who line up 4-4-2 at Pride Park, have adopted a number of different formations in away games and shape is very much on their mind ahead of Saturday's fixture against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
"We have tried 4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1 or whatever, so we will see what best suits us and what can cause Leicester most problems as well," said Clough.
"It is too simplistic to go 4-4-2 every away game, we cannot afford to do that.
"We try and start with a 4-4-2 but we might change during the game, like we did against Cardiff the other night, if we think it is of benefit."
Derby's one clean sheet on the road came in the 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground at the end of September.
"We have not kept enough clean sheets in away games," said Clough.
"We are taking the game to teams home and away. When you look at the performance at Millwall, we made 470-odd passes in an away game and it was a similar story at Wolves.
"We are having the majority of posession in quite a few away games.
"It is about getting the balance between being resilient and also looking to attack. We don't want to change the way we play."
Leicester's home record is the second best in the Division. The Foxes have won seven and drawn one of their nine games.
"At home, they are in as good form as we are at home and so it will be a tough game. They will be extremely confident," said Clough.
"It has been a difficult place for us to get anything despite playing not that badly at times but we are in pretty good shape ourselves.
"We have had a tough run of games and we have lost only three of 12.
"Five wins and four draws is a pretty good run."