Paul Simpson provides insight into Derby's tactical plan for crucial Reading match

Derby County have to secure a play-off berth in the Championship, meaning they now face a nervy final day fixture against Reading.

Derby County assistant manager Paul Simpson has provided an insight into the tactical plan that the Rams intend to use against Reading on the final day of the season on the club's official website.

Derby host Reading knowing that they need a point to confirm their place in the play-offs, but Simpson insists that his team will not be playing for a draw.

Although Steve McClaren's assistant does want the Rams to ensure that they are tighter at the back than they have been in recent weeks, he says that Derby need to make sure they try and win the fixture.

“We have to pick a team to defend first and foremost, to create a base for us to utilise the attacking flair that we have," Simpson said. “We want to marry the two together and be tighter as a defence, but also display our attacking qualities.

“What we have to do is make sure that we prepare properly and get ourselves ready to put on a performance to get the result we want.

“A point will do it with the goal difference, but we won’t go into any game looking for a point."

Derby have overcome a recent wobble to go six games unbeaten through March, but the iPro Stadium promises to be a very nervy place on Saturday.

The Rams had appeared to be in with a chance of claiming the Championship title at one stage, but a run of two wins in 12 matches has seen their season threaten to fall apart.

Derby have slipped down the table at an alarming rate and the fact their play-off place is in doubt is a huge surprise.

On their day, the Rams are arguably the standout side in the Championship and the task will be to ensure that they get back to their best this weekend and clinically deal with a Reading side that has little left to play for.

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