Former Derby County manager Nigel Clough has suggested that he believes the Rams can survive the drop on the final day of the campaign when they take on Sheffield Wednesday.
The Rams have endured a miserable campaign and Wayne Rooney’s side have suffered six successive defeats to leave themselves precariously placed just above the drop zone heading into the final day. Derby still do have it within their own hands, after Rotherham United were held to a goalless draw by Luton Town on Tuesday night. That could make a massive difference.
Rooney’s side know that if they beat Sheffield Wednesday then that will be enough for them to survive the drop down to League One. However, anything less than that would leave them vulnerable to what Rotherham can manage to do at Cardiff City. It is therefore going to be a very nervous afternoon for all connected with the club.
Speaking to CHAD, Clough, now in charge of Mansfield Town, suggested that he believes the Rams can get out of trouble with the right result against Sheffield Wednesday and is surprised to see them in this position.
He said: “I think Derby can do it.
“They go into it probably only needing a draw – and I think you’d always back yourself at home to avoid defeat. But I think it will be tight.
“Rotherham have given themselves a chance. If Rotherham go ahead it will be very interesting for and Derby and Sheffield Wednesday as then they are going to have to win. It will be a very interesting scenario.
“I am surprised to see Derby there with their resources. I don’t think anyone expected them to be down there.”
Clough will know all about just how big of a drop-down to the third tier it would be for Derby, with him having suffered a similar fate during his time in charge of Burton Albion. While he will also be fully aware of what that could mean for the sort of financial situation the Rams would be in if they were to be relegated.
The Mansfield Town manager is right to say that Derby should not really be in this position and that it has been a surprisingly disastrous campaign for the club. However, Derby need to take full advantage of the fact that it is in their hands crucially on the final day and that they are in control of their own destiny.
A draw might well be enough for them if Rotherham can not beat Cardiff, and it would be terrible if the Rams were not able to secure at least a point against Sheffield Wednesday. Therefore, they are in the driving seat, but that does not mean it is not going to be a very nervous afternoon for all concerned with the club.