Derby County manager Paul Warne calls for Rams bounceback against Northampton Town

DERBY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 15: Paul Warne, Head Coach of Derby County, reacts during the Sky Bet League One match between Derby County and Oxford United at Pride Park Stadium on August 15, 2023 in Derby, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Derby County will be desperate to turn things around again after a dissapointing loss away to Stevenage at the weekend.

Paul Warne’s side lost 3-1 in what was a poor showing in a tough matchup. This puts the Rams in ninth, five points off the playoff places and 14 points away from league leaders Portsmouth.

Tonight, they return to Pride Park where they face a struggling Northampton Town side who sit precariously above the relegation zone in 20th.

It seems like the perfect opportunity for Paul Warne’s side to get back on track, but the Derby manager has emphasiesed the need for improvement.

He told Rams TV: “We underperformed. We had moments but not enough moments. The opposition were better than us, more aggressive than us and deserved their win.

“If we are going to be successful, we have to pick points up on the road and be better than that and I think the lads agree. You can’t keep saying the same things all the time and expect a different result or you’re insane.

“I understand everyone’s frustration because we have to be better than that.”

Since the loss at the weekend, Derby’s owners have come out and said that they back the manager amid a lot of noise from fans calling for Paul Warne to be sacked. With such pressure on him, the game tonight will have to be better in front of the Pride Park faithful.

The Rams boss has said that the quick turnaround could be helpful to his players: “We’ve got a few of the lads with a couple of issues so it’s harder to name the team right now and after a defeat there’s more things to address. We have to show the lads things but if you show them too many things, then what confidence they have, they lose.

“It’s a thin line between being over-critical and under-critical so when you have just one day to prepare for the next game, it is not long. Sometimes a quick turnaround is a good thing.

“We get to wipe ourselves down and have a go again against a promoted team in Northampton that will ask us different questions. We need to go out on the front foot to perform and get three points.”

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Warne’s team selection choices have been getting more and more difficult of late thanks to a number of key players returning from injury. Notably, winger Joe Ward will return this week as his has recovered from a heel injury. Warne says, its good to have him back: “Joe has been whipping in set-pieces and everything today, he looked really good and it’s nice to have him back and a little bit closer to full fitness.”

Looking ahead, the Rams will be desperate to find some form and move up into the playoff places, something that the manager is only too eager for: “We need to go on a run. No fan will listen to this and think ‘he’s got this on lock’, it’s the obvious thing to say, but we need back-to-back wins.

“If we were to win tomorrow night and we win against Barnsley in our next league game then we might find ourselves in the play-offs with a game in hand and life looks a little better.

“If you ever underestimate the opposition then you are in trouble. Every team has something to fight for and I understand we’re a scalp in this league but if we perform at the level we did on Saturday then we won’t be a scalp for long.”

Tonight’s game kicks off at Pride Park at 7:45pm.


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