Nigel Clough believes Derby County will go head-to-head with an invigorated Wolverhampton Wanderers side this weekend, and is relishing the prospect of taking on one of the Championship’s promotion favourites.
The Rams tasted defeat for the first time in the 2012-13 Championship season in midweek with a 2-0 loss at Bolton and Clough has urged his players to bounce back in winning fashion, but has conceded his side have a big task on their hands against Wolves.
Having been relegated from the Premier League last season, Stale Solbakken’s men are amongst the favourites to be at the business end of the division this term and Clough expects Wolves to be full of confidence having registered a 3-1 win against Barnsley on Tuesday.
Clough’s men have a draw and a defeat to their name after two Championship games and while his side are still searching for their first three points of the campaign, the Rams boss doesn’t feel there’s too much to worry about.
He told Rams Player: “Like Bolton, Wolves still have a strong squad despite losing a few players this summer and have a squad littered with Premier League players.
“By comparison, we have one player with experience of that level and that is Conor Sammon and that makes it very difficult to compete against.
“Confidence-wise, Wolves will be lifted by their midweek win against Barnsley and in some ways we perhaps wish they didn’t, but they were always going to get that win at some stage.
“Looking at ourselves, we’ve only lost once in three games and could easily have won all three so we’re not too downbeat at the moment and looking forward to tomorrow.
“We have great faith in the players that we have and that the youngsters will improve but we’re experiencing the fine lines between winning, drawing and even losing games, which can be hard to take at times.
“Against Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe we should really have held on but daft mistakes cost us late on, and in midweek at Bolton we should have taken our chances when we were on top.”
With Clough happy with how his side have been performing, he has admitted he would sacrifice a good performance if it meant getting three points on the board in the West Midlands tomorrow.
“We’ve been playing well but I think we’d all take a poor performance and a win, and it’ll probably the case when we do get the first win of the season,” he said.
“We made the point the other night at Bolton that we’re playing far, far better than we were a year ago and you only have to think back to Watford away when we played dreadfully and nicked a 1-0 win – which we’d all take right now.”
Watch Nigel Clough’s full pre-match interview on Rams Player.