Can’t sleep…

The usual cures for insomnia are strangely ineffective..

The usual cures for insomnia are strangely ineffective..

And so we’re almost there.  I won’t kid you, this game means a lot.  I have lots of friends who follow the church of the lesser Clough, so to turn our recent form against them around would be most welcome.  Most welcome indeed.  Every one who I’ve spoken too has played down their chances, much like I have to them – much like we all did last season too.

The signing of Paul Dickov on loan hasn’t exactly filled many of them with confidence – although given the resurrection Clough Jnr has managed to bring about in another ageing niggly bastard former Leicester City player (one who apparently has some new teeth) I’m resisting the urge to take the piss too much just yet.  However, hardly an ambitious signing, particularly when they are splashing the cash in other areas.

Clough Jnr has been busy playing down the fixture, and backhandedly talking up Forest, whilst Billy skirts around falling into the Kinnear trap of calling it just another game, but almost doing just that.  He is right though, we have been playing well, and we need to be professional in approaching this game.

Whilst of course we fixate on our own lack of league success this season so far – with a particularly poor home record – let’s not forget that Derby’s away record is pretty poor too, they have lost at Rotherham and Scunthorpe, and only drawn at Blackpool.  Their home wins have come against Peterborough and Plymouth.  How many of those teams will be challenging at the end of the season?

For our part we’ve been mostly good.  On our travels we have picked up very credible draws at Reading and QPR, and at home we had a good run out against Bradford, were desperately unlucky to lose to a strong West Brom side, were admittedly horseshit against Watford and deservedly succumbed to a defeat – but have bounced back with a solid performance against another strong contender this season in Middlesbrough (albeit in the League Cup).

Of course, all that stuff is meaningless anyway.  Whilst form and overall quality is a factor in any game, the truth of the matter is I can’t see much to choose between two sides that finished a point apart last season – I am confident that we have strengthened well over the summer – albeit with a continued need for defenders, I’m not so sure that Derby have to the same degree, although the installation and settling of Clough Jnr will see them more stable than last season.

But bejesus do we owe them one.  Our all time league record between one another is still in our favour, but the recent trend is inexonerably in Derby’s favour – so that’s a tide that could do with stemming.  It’s going to be a nerve-racking afternoon for all concerned, but there can be no better way of getting our first league win of the season.  Of course, on the flip side, the Rams will feel the same way about their first away win of the season.

Ho hum!  Be safe out there, whilst it’s a complete nonsense there’s bound to be some silliness occurring as people take the rivalry a little too seriously.  I will be on Twitter tomorrow, the match report will be late as I’m out and about after the game and it will involve drinking, so you’ll probably have to wait ’til Sunday!  Please dear God let me have something good to write about!