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Gold standard required for Norwich City to stop Derby

Norwich's recent revival faces a stiff test at Derby County. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich's recent revival faces a stiff test at Derby County. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Only Norwich City’s Championship best will do against the Rams.

Neil Adams is not fooled by Derby’s own dip in form after Wednesday’s Capital One Cup loss to Chelsea made it three defeats in the last four following Middlesbrough toppling them from top spot. Adams expects City’s own recent revival will face a stiff test against one of the Championship’s promotion fancies.

“They might not be used to losing games but I don’t think it is going to affect them,” he said. “They are a strong side, well-organised with good ball players in the middle of the park. They came within a whisker or going up last season and they must have been bitterly disappointed. Many would have been looking at them to see how they would react and it would have been understandable if that had knocked them for six because they probably deserved to be in the Premier League. Full credit, they rolled their sleeves up and they have got back on it again. Potentially it is our toughest game of the season. They are a big club with a big support, like we are, and we are confident we can go and perform.”

Adams wants no repeat of City’s last limp offering against one of the biggest hitters in the division when they folded embarrassingly at Middlesbrough.

“I think I said at the time you never want to lose a game but you can use it to your advantage. That is probably one of only two games we haven’t won this season when we got what we deserved,” he said. “Of course you can use that with the players and remind them of certain aspects. You have to move on but it is a good reminder what can happen if you don’t do your jobs. The frustration for the most part has been we deserved more than we have got. At Middlesbrough we didn’t.”

The City chief is a firm admirer of Derby boss McClaren, who has proved his worth at club-level again after a forgettable period in charge of England that saw the Three Lions miss out on Euro2008 qualification.

“For me, it says it all that he was England manager, because they have the pick of the crop. What he has done domestically in this country and in Europe has been phenomenal,” said Adams. “It will be an honour really to be stood alongside a former England manager. He has been right to the top of the tree and I said that last season when the likes of Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers or Jose Mourinho were six feet away. Steve McClaren has been there, seen it and done it.”

City’s uneven progress may have left them off the pace at the very top but Adams reiterates the end goal remains the same.

“The aim hasn’t changed. That is promotion,” he said. “We set our stall out at the start of the season and that will not change. That is what we are working to. There is still a long, long way to go of course but we remain confident of reaching our target.”

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  • Well done to the lads. Derby weren't anything special and had a bit of luck getting the pen. We thought hard and got what we deserved could of nicked it at the end but I think most who watched will be happy we did not lose. Brill goal from Whittaker and shame Tettey's goal was disallowed. Wins against Millwall and Reading now please and could be manager of the month award.

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    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • 2-1 to Derby, although hope always springs eternal, so a small wager on a City victory is a definite for me.

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    Cornwall Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I agree with TrevorKeith about the making sure that the full backs hold the line today. Attacking is great but that is what has left us vulnerable to counter attacks this season. As much as I would like to see an expansive game, holding the mid-field tight may be the beast option to start with and then bringing on Redmond to run through in the second half. It is agonising to read the BBC piece on Chris Martin as the Diego Costa of the Championship. What part of that free-transfer was not a mismanagement of enormous proportions.

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    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Will it be a game too early for RBennett? Maybe hold back Redmond until second half again and aim to keep it tight first half. Wes also on bench? Plenty of options to ponder.....

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    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Bill did a deal with Santa, we'll win.

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    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • As long as Neil is set up correctly, there is no reason we cannot get something out of this game, the team needs to be positive in the right manner. Team selection will be key today, holding a back line in front of Ruddy plus at least one defending midfielder rather than sending too many players forward in attack, the mistake we so often make. I would also start with Redmond, as he is the most likely to break down their defence on the break. Hopefully MP has studied Derby well and has come up with a decent ploy to at least keep a clean sheet.

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    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I agree with with a Derby win 2-1

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    Obi- wan

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • He we go again today match at Derby didn't take much to decide on this one Derby 3 - city 2

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    Saturday, December 20, 2014

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