Tonight’s meeting with Preston North End comes with a little bit of added spice for one Derby County player in particular.
David Nugent spent two-and-a-half years with the Lilywhites between 2005 and 2007 – a time he rates as one of the most fruitful of his career to date and it is easy to see why.
His goals were vital for Preston as they achieved two play-off finishes and his reputation soared so much so that, even though he was playing in the Championship, he was called up to the England squad.
“This is a game that I have been looking forward to,” Nugent told The Ram.
“The two-and-a-half years I had there were probably the best of my career. In my first year, we got to the play-off final, where we beaten by West Ham and then we were beaten by Leeds in the semi-finals the following year.
“It was pretty eventful. I made my England debut whilst I was at Preston too so I have got some very fond memories from my time there.
“I felt like I had to leave to further my career and they gave me the opportunity to do that.
“They had a great set of lads and, obviously, I did miss it when I left because things didn’t go quite so well when I did leave for Portsmouth.
“That’s how football works though. Some moves work, others don’t, but all in all I can’t thank them enough. I had a great time there.”
Only two things will be in Nugent’s mind tonight, though.
One, obviously, is helping Derby claim their first win of the new 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season, the other is to score his first goal against his former club.
In four meetings since leaving Preston, Nugent has been unable to find the back net and that’s a record he wants to put right
The 32-year-old said: “Basically, I didn’t score against them when I was at Middlesbrough, it was the same at Portsmouth and then I didn’t in the game last year for Derby.
“Preston are one of the teams I haven’t scored against so, hopefully, I will put that right on Tuesday. One thing is for sure, I will keep trying to score past them.”
Don’t miss out on your copy of the Preston North End edition of The Ram! You can buy, for just £3, from all around Pride Park Stadium ahead of kick-off or order it to your door. Full details can be found here.