Former Rangers and Queens Park Rangers midfielder Ray Wilkins said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT on Thursday morning (January 28) that Derby County will have to finish in the top six of the Championship this season.
Derby will take on Premier League giants Manchester United at the iPro Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday evening.
Wilkins believes that the tie will not be easy for the Rams to win, and has also claimed that Paul Clement’s side will have to finish in the playoffs at least.
“Good time to get Man U, isn’t it?” said Wilkins on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show on talkSPORT on Thursday morning (January 28). “Everything appears to be going slightly wonky.
“In saying that, Derby haven’t done too well of late. They got annihilated by their opponent the other night (4-1 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor in the Championship on Monday evening). They play some good football, don’t they? They retain possession of the ball very well.
"The outlay they have made has been quite substantial as well. They have actually spent quite a bit of money as well, Derby, so they will be expected, minimum, to be in the playoffs, but this is a massive game.”
Derby have one of the strongest teams in the Championship, but their performances and results in recent weeks have been disappointing.
The Rams are fifth in the league table at the moment with 49 points from 28 matches, seven points behind leaders Hull City.
Just like last season, there is a danger that the Rams could collapse and end up outside of the playoffs.
That would be nothing short of a disaster for a team who have players like Darren Bent, Tom Ince, Chris Martin and Stephen Warnock.