We're all 'desperate' for a good run now, says midfielder Craig Bryson
CRAIG Bryson says Derby County's player and manager Nigel Clough are "desperate" for a good cup run.
The Rams take on Championship rivals Blackburn Rovers in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Pride Park Stadium today (3pm).
Clough's men, who thumped Tranmere Rovers 5-0 in the previous round, will be looking to book a place in the last 16 of the famous competition – something they last achieved in 2009-10, where they lost to Birmingham City.
Since Derby's run to the semi-final of the League Cup, which coincided with Clough's arrival at Pride Park four years ago, the cups have not been particularly happy hunting grounds for the club.
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They have fallen at the first hurdle in the League Cup for the past four seasons, while the FA Cup third round exit at the hands of non-League Crawley Town a couple of years ago was a low point.
"We've not really had a good cup run since I've been here, or since the gaffer took over," said Bryson, who joined the Rams from Scottish club Kilmarnock in the summer of 2011.
"He's desperate for a cup run and the players are too.
"We've got a team in our own division, so it could go either way.
"And we're at home, where we've been going well.
"We can go into that game really confident and, hopefully, get through to the next round."
Bryson hit the headlines in January 2006 when he scored for Clyde in a 2-1 giant-killing of Celtic in the Scottish FA Cup.
"I've been involved in a couple of cup upsets but not really had a good run," said the 26-year-old midfielder.
"When I was at Clyde and we beat Celtic, we went out to Gretna in the next round!
"So it would be nice to go on a good run."
With the FA Cup semi-finals currently being played at Wembley, Derby are potentially only three wins away from a trip to the national stadium.
"The League is the most important thing for us but the Cup is a welcome bonus," said Bryson.
"The further you go, the better it gets.
"And if we can get through the next few rounds, we could be at Wembley."
Bryson returned to the Derby starting line-up for last weekend's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest after missing the previous four games due to a knee problem.
He got through 75 minutes before being replaced by Michael Jacobs.
The Scotland international is keen to retain his place in the side to face Blackburn.
"I don't like to miss training or miss games," he said.
"I want to train every day and play every game."
Manager Clough added: "If he is fit, he is in with a shout.
"It's the same principle as if it were a League game. If it is going to do him damage for a longer period of time, we won't risk him."