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‘No excuses’ – Curtis Davies issues passionate message ahead of crucial Derby run-in

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Curtis Davies has given his verdict on a crucial three games for Derby County as Gary Rowett’s side slipped out of the top six for the first time in 2018.

Derby were beaten 3-1 at Burton Albion this weekend in another shock result against sides in the bottom three, following on from their recent 4-1 hammering at Pride Park by Sunderland.

They do have a game in hand over Millwall and Middlesbrough above them, but they also have a tough run in.

“I don’t know if it’s a good omen that we’re playing three teams pushing for promotion,” Davies told the Derby Telegraph.

“We need a reaction and we will have no excuses about pitches and quality of football and style – we just have to go out and do a number on someone.”

The Rams have won just twice in their last twelve matches, a sequence that has seen them move from automatic promotion contenders to the fringes of the top six, but Davies is under no illusions what his side have to do now.

“It always was going to be a big week but now it’s make-or-break. We’re playing the team directly above us – Middlesbrough – and then we’ve got Cardiff and Villa. Cardiff and Villa are safe in the play-offs, whether they will take their foot off the gas I don’t believe they will, but it’s for us to upset someone, whether that be with flowing football or being horrible with tackles, I don’t really care.”

Liam Boyce, Luke Murphy and Lucas Akins gave the Brewers a shock 3-1 win this weekend and Davies knows a repeat of that performance will only ensure Championship football once again.

“This week is make-or-break but it’s also one where we can have a lot of joy or we can be terribly embarrassed. If we play anywhere like we did against Burton, teams like Middlesbrough, Cardiff and Villa will tear us apart. It wasn’t good enough.”

The Verdict

Approaching a play off campaign you have to be the team in form and at present, Derby have won the same number of games as beleaguered Leeds in the last twelve games. If they do manage to sneak into the top six, I can’t see how they’ll deal with any of the other candidates over a two-legged semi-final.

Both Villa and Fulham have looked infinitely better in recent weeks and I think the Rams had best get used to yet another season in the second tier.

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