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Nigel Clough’s Derby are ready for an assault on the top six

by Josh Powell | August 4, 2013
PROMOTION RAM RAID:  Nigel Clough is making steady progress towards promotion

PROMOTION RAM RAID: Nigel Clough is making steady progress towards promotion

Championship previews | Derby County

Real Championship football fans give the Paddy Power Blog their honest previews for the new season. Derby fan Nathan Morley (@NMtheRams) who writes the Rams Blog, tells us how gaffer Nigel Clough is preparing his squad for a huge promotion push.

State of play: Last season the Rams finished in tenth, a moderate position with gradual progress on the previous year’s twelve place finish. The squad is in good shape but the loss of right-back John Brayford is a big blow. Dynamic Spurs full-back Adam Smith has replaced Brayford, as an attacking full-back he seems to have the quality to fit the Rams’ style down the right – which Brayford performed so well.

How’s the gaffer? Nigel Clough is the right man, and finally his steady progress is paying off – he’s got a squad of his own players and has the biggest chance he’s ever had of a push into the top six. The biggest difference is that he’s had more freedom over transfers this summer and little pressure to sell or use such little cash. He’s ready to guide Derby to the next stage of a more sustained push to the top six.

Terrace hero: Johnny Russell signed from Dundee and has the potential to become a real goalscorer to be weary of in the division – signs in pre-season and words from Clough say he’ll make the step up well.

Big-time Charlie: Young American Conor Doyle has been cast out on loan in the MLS. He’s struggled to take advantage of his few opportunities in the first-team and been dubbed as a waste of time by many supporters.

Worst away ground in the Championship and why? Burnley’s Turf Moor is certainly in need of an upgrade.

Which Championship side have the best away fans? The best away fans would have to be Sheffield Wednesday. They brought around 6,000 to Pride Park last year and were incredibly vocal, which helps clubs massively on the road.

Who is your dream Championship signing? Grant Holt is a superb signing by Wigan and I would, despite him being a former Forest player, like him at Derby County. He’ll be the man to get the Latics back up to the top flight this year.

What is your best terrace chant? The Jamie Ward song, sung to the tune of Wonderwall by Oasis, is growing increasingly popular in the stands. Ward’s another terrace hero and shows immense passion – especially against our rivals Forest.

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