Ahead of Sunday’s East Midlands derby at the City Ground I get the thoughts of Derby fans.
Here’s Lewis Richardson’s views-
What do you make of The Rams so far this season? Mixed emotions really, I think we are definitely playing some of the best football I have personally seen as a Derby County fan and it is extremely pleasing to see the likes of Hendrick, Hughes and O'Brien coming up through the academy. But we are still lacking ,I feel, in defence and upfront, I mean, we can talk about oh we should have won this game or Nigel telling us all we created enough chances to win 3 games but words don't matter, it's the result! I think the selling oh Shackell was a huge mistake, I would be a lot happier with him and Keogh in the centre. Also upfront, it's been a problem we have had now since Hulse left the club, we just haven't had that kind of striker that scores 20-odd goals a season and chips in with the assists. I personally don't think Conor Sammon is that guy but I have no doubt that he is a brilliant player and he is going to be a huge asset for this team. Overall I think it won't be long before we start getting the results our performances are meriting, I can see us finish minimum top half and maybe flirting with the play-offs. Who has impressed you most? I have two players really, one being a player that was with us last season and the other being one of our summer signings, Craig Bryson and Paul Coutts. As usual Craig Bryson is such an influential player to our great performances and success. what a tremendous bargain buy he has been and I hope to see him in a Derby County shirt for a very long time, he controls the midfield! Also Paul Coutts, Another bargain signing and a brilliant player, he is so strong on the ball, brushes passed players with ease and has picked up 3 assists already. I heard some harsh words about him from Preston fans and I know there was some issues at his previous club but he is a Derby County player now, which I am very very happy about! How do you think Sunday will go? I think with the way with have been playing since the start of the season and the performances we have shown so far I feel there is no reason we can't win this fixture. If we can stick the ball in the net which for some reason even with the amount of goals we have scored this season already is still struggle! The only thing that worries me is our defence, we can look very solid for most of the game but we do get leaky and sloppy and it's been very harsh on us as teams have punished us for this time and time again. This is something we need to work on and stick together on Sunday otherwise we might throw the game away. What's your favourite ever East Midlands derby? It was last year's fixtures, unfortunately I was a bit late last year on getting a ticket for the game, I was extremely gutted but I did enjoy the game down the pub with fellow Rams fans. It was something I will never forget. But as I am a season ticket holder I was at the home fixture and to score so late on and to grab that famous double over forest,is what football is all about!I also think the FA cup game replay at the city ground was brilliant is well, to go 2-0 down you always expect the worst but to fight back and win 3-2 with Kris commons effectively scoring the winner it was quality!) COYR And finally, your score prediction? I think it's going to be a very entertaining encounter, early drama I'm sure as usual as it is a ritual at the City Ground! I'm going go with what my heart is saying and to go 3-1 to the Rams with Forest scoring first.
Here's what Andy Buckley-Taylor thinks- What do you make of The Rams so far this season? Plenty of promise, but still not good enough for a top six placing. Who has impressed you most? Hughes, very impressive form from a seventeen year old. How do you think the game will go? To be honest, a very difficult ask and we'll do very well to get a point! What's your favourite ever East Midlands derby? The 3-2 comeback in the FA Cup when Commons scored the winner. And finally, your score prediction? 4-2 Forest, sorry!! But my TalkSport predictions have been awful this season, so hopefully it'll continue on Sunday. Josh Cliff tells us his views- What do you make of The Rams so far this season? I personally think we've not done too badly, although we should have seen out both the Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley matches. What you have to remember is it's a marathon, not a sprint. Last season we had that brilliant start but we eventually 'ran out of steam' and lost points around Christmas so I would rather have a slow start but slowly improve and make a big push towards the end of the season. Who has impressed you most? For me, I think Paul Coutts has done well since he arrived. Although he wasn't very good against Burnley, I thought he was very good in the Sheffield Wednesday match, His assist for Wardy's goal really impressed me and I think with a bit more work, we've got ourselves a bargain. A special shout out has to go to Craig Bryson too, he really is a powerhouse in midfield and can run for ages, I don't think he owns a car, he just runs everywhere! How do you think the game will go? Quite a difficult question this one, Forest's new owners have obviously got money to spend and I must admit I'm quite impressed with a few of their new signings, Henri Lansbury for example. On the other hand, I think that Derby have some good quality young players but we really need to keep concentration levels up and actually see out matches. I definitely think that there is going to be a red card, it's almost a tradition now! I do think that Forest will give us a good match and there certainly will be drama. What's your favourite ever East Midlands derby? My favourite East Midlands derby definitely has to be the 2-1 win with ten men. I didn't go on that particular occasion but I did go to the reverse fixture in March but from what I heard on Radio Derby it certainly lived up to the 'red card and loads of drama' theory! Even though I wasn't there I certainly felt horrible at 1-0, I went mental when Ward scored and even more so when Hendrick scored! A very good day overall, certainly a great feeling after the 5-2 the previous season and one that will live in the memory for a long time. And finally, your score prediction? I could be very biased here and say that Derby will win 10-0 but I'll stop myself! I think it will be an even match, Derby will take the lead (Wardy), I think that Forest will equalise through Simon Cox and I fancy Theo to come off the bench (if he's not starting) to nick a late winner! 2-1 Derby.
Thanks to all the fans who answered these questions. Get behind the boys on Sunday, COME ON YOU RAMS!!!!!!!