Gary Rowett has backed his Derby County side to go to Elland Road with ‘no fear’ as they look to extend their winning run in the Sky Bet Championship to four games when they face Leeds United tonight.
The Rams head to West Yorkshire off the back of a superb 2-1 win against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Saturday, and Rowett is confident that his side can continue their fantastic form, as well as his impressive personal record against the Whites.
He told RamsTV: “They will be extremely motivated, but we need to go there with no fear, we need to play our game and make Leeds worry about how they’re going to beat us.
“It’s a difficult place. It’s one of the older stadiums, it has a real natural atmosphere and I’ve experienced it as a player.
“As a manager, I’ve had fantastic results there. With Birmingham, we went there and won 2-0 and 2-1, and we drew 1-1 as well so we’ve had some decent games.”
The weekend success against Norwich marked Derby’s first away league win since August, and the boss is encouraged by the continual improvement of his side on the road.
He said: “From Brentford, to Cardiff and then Norwich we’ve seen an increased commitment, there’s a recognition that you need to work a lot harder away from home to get results.
“The quality has improved each game, and the win gives the players the extra belief that they can go away from home and win.
“This group of players should be able to go into any game and it shouldn’t make any difference who we’re playing. We’ve got the ability to win every game, provided that we show the same level of commitment to go with the skill.”
One of the Rams’ most impressive performers in recent weeks has been captain Richard Keogh, who set up David Nugent’s crucial opening goal at the weekend with an incisive ball into the striker.
Rowett has always expressed that he wants his team to play with freedom, and he’s pleased that Keogh is showcasing his ball-playing quality.
He added: “We’re always looking for an opportunity for someone to break the lines and what Richard gives you that ability to play out. Sometimes he will step into the space and then Tom will drop back into his position.
“When he does step in, he has terrific ability. They have the freedom, and if he feels that it’s the right thing to do, then that’s what he’s got to do.”