Derby County v Leeds United: Rams boss Clough tips Whites for play-offs

Nigel Clough.
Nigel Clough.
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Nigel Clough bemoaned Derby County’s bad sense of timing as he plotted his strategy for tomorrow’s clash with a rejuvenated Leeds United side.

Rams manager Clough admitted that Derby were developing a habit of “copping for teams in form” after seeing United produce three straight victories in the run-up to their visit to Pride Park.

Leeds were toiling at the end of seven-match winless run a fortnight ago but the pressure on Neil Warnock’s squad has eased substantially after wins over Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Huddersfield Town.

Derby manager Clough, right, said: “We seem to cop for teams in form. Leeds had not won in seven and now they’ve won three on the spin. “They’ve beaten Palace and Leicester at home and won at Huddersfield so they’ll come here as confident as at any time this season.”

Asked if he expected United to qualify for the play-offs this season, Clough said: “Yes I think so, if the players get fit and stay fit and if Neil brings in players in January.

“He’s already brought in two Premier League players on loan, (Alan) Tate and (Jerome) Thomas, and at this level that makes a difference.”

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