Derby County seeking revenge against lacklustre Leeds
Steve McClaren has urged his Derby County side to push on after their 4-0 Boxing Day victory over Birmingham City. They are odds-on with Coral at 1/2 to defeat Leeds United, and the Rams boss acknowledges the team has had a challenging time recently.
“We had a tough couple of weeks,” said McClaren. “I thought the point against Norwich [City] was a good one.
“It was important we didn’t get beaten in that game and it was important we responded in the Birmingham game and against a team that had lost only once in eight matches. A very good and a very organised team.
“So it was not just a performance but a performance against one of the form teams in the Championship.
“Now we have to take it on. We have got to take advantage on Tuesday [against Leeds]. We showed at Birmingham how we can play.”
Liverpool loanee Jordon Ibe wreaked havoc for the Rams against the Blues, getting on the scoresheet, and is 6/1 to net the opener, while Chris Martin netted his 16th of the season. He is 7/2 to break the deadlock in front of a home crowd that he loves to please. Jamie Ward, meanwhile, who could be in contention for a wide berth, is 9/2 to get the first goal.
Derby lost 2-0 to Leeds earlier in the season, with Mirko Antenucci bagging a brace. The Italian striker is 14/1 to equal or better that accomplishment, though Billy Sharp, who notched against Nottingham Forest, is 11/4 in the anytime market.
Neil Redfearn may recall young Brazilian Adryan, after resting him for the Boxing Day defeat to Wigan Athletic.
“He hasn’t missed much football recently. He’s played a lot,” the Leeds boss said.
“He’s come from a different standard of football and to be honest he’s done really well. But it’s different here. It’s a tough and unforgiving league. Against Fulham and Forest I saw it. He looked a little bit leggy, a little bit tired.
“I thought it was the right thing to rest him and give him a little break because we’ve got a lot of games coming up. There’s the Derby game and then Sunderland (in the FA Cup) on Sunday. There’s lots for him to play in.”
There is speculation regarding the player’s future, though Adryan, 5/1 to score anytime, was insistent about his ambitions: “I can’t say what will happen definitely but I want to stay. When the season finishes I hope I’ll be able to stay.
“I’m happy here and I like the football. I would be happy to be here, to be in the team for a long time.”