Alex Babos has warned Derby County’s Under-23s that they can’t afford to be complacent as they look to take a big step towards Premier League 2 – Division 1 safety against West Ham United.
Last time the two teams met back in November, Darren Wassall’s side produced a show-stopping performance to win 5-1 at the London Stadium.
Whilst Babos believes that they can take confidence from their positive results so far this season, he is sure that the Londoners will be out for revenge on Monday afternoon, and that is something that he is wary of.
He told RamsTV: “It [the 5-1 win] was definitely the highlight of this season so far. We played free-flowing football and we scored goals but we know that they aren’t going to come here and allow that to happen again.
“They will want to rectify the situation and do the same to us, and we have to be very wary for that.
“It’s was one of the rare opportunities where you can relax, because we were a few goals up early on, so we were able to breathe a little bit.
“We have had some good results this year and we will keep that in our mind ahead of Monday.”
The Under-23s’ last win came at Goodison Park against Everton nearly two months ago but it is fair to say that their performances over the past five games haven’t been rewarded with the success that they have deserved.
The Rams performed admirably against strong Manchester City and Chelsea sides whilst they fought hard against Sheffield United in the Premier League Cup Round of 16, only to be denied with ten-man in extra-time.
It was a similar story against Tottenham Hotspur in their last game and Babos has urged his teammates to focus on the impressive parts of their recent displays and take confidence into their last two games.
On the 4-2 reverse against Spurs, he said: “If you look at the game, we deserved at least a point and with the amount of chances that we had, we could have even won it.
“It wasn’t to be and we know that we can take the second-half performance especially into the game on Monday.”
He added: “The most important thing is that we don’t get carried away when we win a game and we don’t get too down when we lose a game, because it’s all about performance.
“We know that this team is capable of staying in this league and we’re capable of beating West Ham like we did away from home.
“It is important for us to keep a clear mind and remember that we are a good team. We believe that we belong in this league and we’ll try our hardest to get three points on Monday.
“The performances have been good and there are plenty of positives for everybody to see.”