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Clough sets Rams a target of six victories


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NIGEL Clough has told his Derby County players to forget about their unlucky exit from the FA Cup and secure the club's safety in the Championship.

And the Rams manager has set a target of six wins from the final 16 League games to keep them in the division.

Derby's dream of reaching the last eight of the Cup for the first time in 11 years was shattered on Saturday when Liam Ridgewell's goal in stoppage time gave Premier League Birmingham City a 2-1 victory in the fifth round tie at Pride Park.

The Rams deserved a replay at the very least.

But the priority has always been the League.

Derby are four points above the bottom three in the Championship and the aim is to climb clear and into a mid-table position as soon as possible.

They have taken 10 points from the last 15 – a run which has included wins against Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest – and Clough says the Cup disappointment must not affect the Rams' improved league form going into back-to-back home games against Preston North End tomorrow and Swansea City on Saturday.

"We sent the players home after the Birmingham game with their heads held high, we hope," he said.

"We told them to have a good weekend, to relax and get over the Cup defeat. That was the message.

"Physically and mentally they have to recover because they were very close to the last eight of the FA Cup, very close indeed.

"But the most important thing now is that we have got 16 games to stay in the Championship. We need to win six to get us to 54 points. The sooner we do that, the better.

"Let's get those six wins and then we can start planning for next season when we can have another crack at the League Cup, the FA Cup and the League.

"We are out of the FA Cup now. We would love to have been in the hat for the quarter-final draw with Birmingham or in our own right but the Cup has gone for another year. Now it is all about Preston tomorrow.

"This was always going to be a big week for us with the Cup and the two League games. We don't want the disappointment of the Cup to linger into the next two league games.

"Let's use the disappointment as a positive. We did not get our rewards against Birmingham City, let's make sure we get them in the next two games.

"We have played well since Plymouth away, when we lost 1-0. We said then that we would take that performance every day of the week.

"As long as we play like we did against Birmingham and the way we have done in the past few weeks, we will be fine.

"We do not feel like a lower half of the Championship side. That is not an arrogant thing to say. We feel we have good enough players to be halfway up the table.

"We are probably five or six points short of being a true reflection of our season so far."


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intresting, im sure he said this at this point last season, when we hit a bit of a purple patch under him

i think we should get 6 more wins or the points required way before the end of the season, barring anymore extensive injury problems

the line im most intrested in though is the last one in that we are 5/6 points away from our true reflection in the league, im not convinced, ive seen us a handful of times this season and we have been awful and i dont think wed be there on the performances i see and hear maybe 3 points of where we should be bt definatly not 6

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