RAMS ARE ON THE CHARGE

Rowett ready to pounce on top-six spot

Daily Mirror - - CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEWS -

Leeds v Derby KO 7.45pm GARY ROWETT has warned the Cham­pi­onship’s top six Derby are breath­ing down their necks.

The im­prov­ing Rams head to Leeds tonight on the back of three straight wins, leav­ing them in sev­enth place – with a home game in hand.

Boss Rowett said: “I think we’ll see a league that’s as close as it’s ever been this sea­son.

“You see what a few wins can do. That’s why you can’t panic too much if you lose a game or two.

“You look at teams like Wolves in se­cond and think they have pulled away a bit, but the gap be­tween us and them is only four points if we win our game in hand. So we’re build­ing nicely and if we get our at­ti­tude spot on, the re­sults will keep com­ing.

“Leeds will be a tough game for us, even though they’re not in great form. They will be highly mo­ti­vated to turn things round.

“I’ve had some good re­sults there as a man­ager, so there is noth­ing to fear but you re­spect the place and the at­mos­phere.”

Leeds head coach Thomas Chris­tiansen ad­mits he is un­der pres­sure to pull his team out of the slump that threat­ens to de­rail their pro­mo­tion push.

But he in­sists he is up for the chal­lenge at El­land Road.

United’s early-sea­son charge towards a long over­due Premier League re­turn has hit the skids with a run which has seen them lose five of their last seven league out­ings.

De­feat tonight and Derby will leapfrog them.

Dane Chris­tiansen said: “Pres­sure is good. And if the de­mand is to win ev­ery game, then I like that.

“But this is only game 15 of a long sea­son. If we are not in the play-off po­si­tions at the end of it, then we’ll talk.”

Chris­tiansen brushed aside crit­i­cism from fans over the team’s style of play and tac­tics, and de­clared: “There is no ma­jor is­sue with that.”

Pon­tus Jans­son will re­place in­jured skip­per Liam Cooper in cen­tral de­fence.

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