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Match preview and pub guide: Derby ready for ram-raid under the GP floodlights

Match preview and pub guide: Derby ready for ram-raid under the GP floodlights

Derby have made a mixed start to the season and after a couple of early wins are now without a victory in three league and cup games.

They played in the Championship’s season opener at Sunderland where Bradley Johnson scored the first goal of the campaign in a 1-1 draw.

After losing their opening home match to Wolves (2-0) they picked up back-to-back wins at home to Preston (1-0) and at Bolton (2-1).

They ended August with a 3-1 defeat at Sheffield United but bounced back after the international break by hammering Hull 5-0.

However, they have failed to win since then – slumping to a 4-1 defeat at Bristol City and then holding Birmingham to a 1-1 draw.

In the Carabao Cup, they missed out on the chance of an early trip to Wembley when they lost their rearranged second round tie at Barnsley 3-2. Their first round game at Grimsby was abandoned because of a waterlogged pitch but when the teams met again, the Rams went through 1-0.

This is Derby’s 10th consecutive season in the Championship – and 13th out of 14th at this level.

They have finished in the top half for the last six seasons and have had two unsuccessful play-off campaigns in that time.


When Gary Rowett visited Griffin Park last November, it was as the manager of Birmingham.

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The Blues won 2-1 that day to move up to fourth in the table. Although two defeats followed, one against Newcastle, they bounced back to beat Ipswich 2-1 and stay seventh.

At the time, Rowett was the third longest-serving manager in the Championship, but despite that, and the side’s position in the table, was removed from his job the following day.

In March, he was appointed as manager of another of his previous clubs in Derby – the club’s fifth boss in 13 months.

At the time he said he had a “special bond” with the Rams and added: “Living in the local area, I understand the expectation of the fan base.”

His first managerial job was with Burton, whom he twice led to the League Two play-offs. He was previously the Brewers’ assistant manager to Paul Peschisolido.

Gary finished his playing career as a defender, in which he made more than 400 appearances, at Burton and also represented Birmingham while his other clubs were Cambridge, Everton, Blackpool (loan), Derby, Leicester and Charlton.


Derby failed to score against us last season – as we earned a goalless draw at Pride Park in Steve McClaren’s second game in charge, before hammering them 4-0 in the Good Friday return at Griffin Park.

The Tuesday night goalless draw was notable only for being our first clean sheet against the Rams in 11 attempts going back to 1953.

The home game was one of our best performances of the season as Lasse Vibe and Jota helped themselves to two goals apiece as we recorded our fourth win in five games.


Derby played a 4-2-3-1 formation against Birmingham on Saturday – but could make changes for Tuesday night’s game.

They have six league ever-presents so far this season.

The first is goalkeeper Scott Carson, who has barely missed a game since moving from Wigan two years ago.

Long-serving Richard Keogh (ex-Coventry), in his sixth season at Derby, and summer signing Curtis Davies (ex-Hull) are two more – and their defensive team-mates on Saturday were Chris Baird (ex-Fulham) and Marcus Olsson (ex-Blackburn).

In front of them were defensive midfielders Bradley Johnson (ex-Norwich) and close-season signing Tom Huddlestone (ex-Hull), who are also both ever-present.

However, in contention to start on Tuesday could be Joe Ledley, signed as an out-of-contract player last week, and who was an unused substitute against the Blues.

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Saturday’s attacking midfield trio featured the final ever-present Andreas Weimann (ex-Derby), along with Tom Lawrence (ex-Leicester) and Matej Vydra (ex-Watford).

However, Johnny Russell (ex-Dundee United) who was left out of the matchday 18 for the first time this season for an undisclosed reason, may return.

The lone striker was David Nugent (ex-Middlesbrough), who has been involved in every league match, although two of those appearances have been from the bench.

Gary Rowett threw on three strikers midway through the second half.

Chris Martin (ex-Norwich) replaced Nugent on the hour mark for his sixth substitute appearance of the season – he started the other two games – while the others who came off the bench were on loan Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall (ex-Barnsley), who scored the Rams’ equaliser with his first touch, and former trainee Mason Bennett.

The unused substitutes, apart from Ledley, were goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell (ex-Newcastle) and defenders Alex Pearce (ex-Reading) and Andre Wisdom (ex-Liverpool).



For Derby fans coming down, you are probably aware there plenty of pub options pre-match and all are most welcoming.

Last season, there were now only three pubs around the ground, following the closure of the Royal Oak.

The Griffin is closest to the away end (like 30 secs walk) and is very popular with away fans – but also very, very busy. The New Inn is on the other side and is also popular with away fans. The Princess Royal is the other option.

But at July’s friendly with  Celta Vigo, a pop-up version of the Royal Oak was set up outside the now closed boozer to bring back the “four corners” feature again.

Other pubs slightly further afield for the more creative amongst you include (and this is by no means a definitive list) …. The Globe (Windmill Rd) is the Beesotted pre-match pub. This boozer & The Lord Nelson (Enfield Rd) are both incredibly friendly and cosy away-friendly pubs and about 1 min walk from each other .. frequented by “away fans in the know”.

The Plough (Northfields Ave) in Northfields is a decent stop-off if you are coming by tube to Northfields (it’s a much better pub crawl route getting off at Northfields than South Ealing) before making your way down to the ground (normally stopping off at The Globe and Lord Nelson en route).

There is also a pub right by Brentford station always referred to as … the Pub by Brentford station.

For ale head to the Magpie and Crown pub on Brentford High Street. The Royal Horseguardsman can probably hold 15 of you at a push. The Brewery Tap is a cosy boozer by the river. And if you are super adventurous, get off at Kew Bridge and visit the brand new boozer One Over the Ait right on the river – beside the bridge. There are loads more too.

A quick Google search and you’ll find them all. There are many, many more too if you have a look around.

Parking is pretty easy away from the ground going up towards and over the A4 Great West Road (ie. North) via Ealing Road or Windmill Road.

You can check out details of how the tube is running on Transport for London’s website here.





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About The Author

Ian Westbrook

Bees fan since 1971 - been through all the ups and downs. Written about, reported on, commentated on and wittered on about all things Brentford in that time as well as watching hundreds, if not thousands of games, and loved every minute of it!

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