Steve McClaren looking for Derby County reaction

Steve McClaren

The Rams head coach has urged his players to ‘refocus’ and ‘recover’ before their game at Blackburn Rovers.

Derby County fought for a tough 1-1 draw with local rivals Nottingham Forest at the weekend, scoring inside the last 10 minutes to claim a point with just 10 men on the field.

Despite a less-than-impressive start to their Championship campaign, a win tonight at Ewood Park would see them rise into the play-off places, although Blackburn will be no pushovers - with Rovers in the exact same situation.

Having played one day later than their evening opponents, the Rams would be more physically exhausted anyway, but having survived a late onslaught at the City Ground following Jake Buxton’s dismissal, they will likely look more jaded than usual with the gruelling and intense Championship fixtures.

And head coach Steve McClaren has urged his players to sort out their mentality prior to this evening.

Speaking to the official Derby website, he said: "We have got to refocus and refocus quickly.

“The game on Sunday was a tough game physically and a tough game mentally, so we have to recover both the body and the mind.

“Hopefully we will do that and have the same kind of attitude that we had on Sunday.”

The former England manager is well aware the Blackburn pose a threat, making the game all the harder in the Rams current situation.

“I was at the game and Wigan looked on top before they turned it around. They showed great character and it is never, never an easy game.

“They have got good players, the boy Rhodes can score goals, Gestede is a handful, Cairney is a good player and Marshall has a great, great strike as we saw at the weekend.

“It’s another difficult game, this is a tough week, physically and mentally, especially after Sunday. It’s a big test for our players and we will see how they come through.”

Having stormed the division on their way to the Championship play-off final last season, only to be cruelly defeated in injury time, many suspected that the Rams would go one better this year and achieve promotion as likely champions.

However, McClaren insists that they have yet to reach the form of last season, but certain games have brought spells reminiscent of their free-flowing, attacking football.

“It will go on all season. Already we have had certain games, and certain spells in games, in which we have looked it.

“After the Fulham game we saw that. We have not been ruthless and that’s as much to do with the expectation pressure, but also the opponents who play with a certain style to disrupt our own style.”

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