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Nathan Jones delivers verdict on Derby County ahead of Luton Town clash



Luton Town boss has hailed Derby County manager Wayne Rooney and his coaching staff for the Rams’ performances this term despite their off-the-pitch issues, speaking to the club’s media team ahead of tonight’s Championship clash between the two sides.

Rooney’s men coming into this tie off the back of a frustrating but solid 0-0 draw away at Preston North End on Saturday afternoon, returning to Pride Park tonight to face the Bedfordshire outfit in what could be a crucial game for the home side’s survival prospects.

They have conceded just eight goals in 12 Championship games thus far and have shown they have the quality and experience in their backline to remain afloat in this division, despite their administration and subsequent 12-point deduction.

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With the club still in a perilous position and a further nine-point deduction potentially coming down the tracks, it would have been easy for the Rams’ players to take their foot off the gas and become distracted by other matters at Pride Park.

But they have remained focused and professional throughout this period, winning 15 points from 12 league games thus far despite spending much of the campaign without key striker Colin Kazim-Richards, who looks set to make another cameo tonight after making his return from injury at the weekend.

Luton boss Jones is one man who has been heavily impressed by the East Midlands club this term, as he said: “The club are having problems, the team are not, so it’s a credit to the manager and the staff they’ve got there as they’re doing a good job and effectively, they’re bottom of the table, but in reality with the points they’ve gained, they’re comfortably mid-table.

“It will be a real tough game, we know that, Derby is always a difficult place to go to.

“They have a good team, regardless of what’s happening with the people that are running the club, the actual team is a good side so we can’t underestimate that, we can’t be hoodwinked by thinking we’re playing the team that’s bottom of the table as that’s not the case.

“They are defensively strong, they’ve got good experience there, they keep the ball well so it’s going to be a real tough game, but it’s the Championship.”

The Verdict:

Jones is right to sound a warning to his players, because even though they picked up an impressive 2-0 win against Millwall at the weekend, Derby could prove to be a tougher task with their defensive record.

The Hatters’ defence will also need to be on their toes with Rams boss Rooney calling on his players to be more ruthless recently, something they will inevitably have worked on in the training ground after perfecting their backline.

They may have only scored seven goals in eight games, but the likes of Tom Lawrence, Ravel Morrison and Louie Sibley are always likely to be a threat and with Kazim-Richards likely to be introduced at some point, potentially for even longer than the 15 minutes he was on at Deepdale, Luton will need to stay tight at the back right up until the final whistle.

This will be a tough task with their busy fixture list, but Derby would be on 15 points, in midtable and just two points off tonight’s opponents without their deduction, so tonight’s visitors have no other choice than to stand up and be counted at Pride Park if they want to come away victorious.

Rooney’s side’s home record has also been reasonably impressive, going unbeaten in each of their seven competitive games at Pride Park so far this season. It will be a daunting task then for Jones and his men.

A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Nathan Jones delivers verdict on Derby County ahead of Luton Town clash

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