Robbie Blake produces blunt assessment of Derby's promotion chances this season

Former top flight striker Robbie Blake has suggested Derby County will be one of the teams fighting for promotion next season.

Former Nottingham Forest and Leeds United forward Robbie Blake told talkSPORT that he feels Derby County are in a very good position to get promoted this season.

Blake was quizzed over the imminent start of the new Championship season and feels that the Rams are one of the teams in with an undoubted chance of doing well over the coming months.

Derby have a new manager in the form of Paul Clement, who has overseen a positive pre-season period with a large group of new players under his guidance.

“I think they (Derby) will be the undoubted challengers in the Championship this season,” he told talkSPORT.

The need for a good start

Considering the impressive way Derby have played in pre-season and the positive signings the club have made, it’s very important for them to get off to a good start.

The Rams need to try and send out a message to their rivals, avoiding some of the pressure which could surround Clement and the club if early results don’t go their way.

A good start would also allow the team to try and build some momentum, getting the fans right behind the club as the games start to come thick and fast for the side.

The challenge for Derby and Clement

It will be interesting to see how the side reacts following their first blip in the season.

All teams go through difficult patches of form and the same will apply to the Rams, but how they react to any difficult period moving forward is significant.

If Clement can ensure that the side bounces back during difficult spells, he can prevent any prolonged period of negative form.

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