Kev vows to make the Rams fans proud

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Adam Diamond

KEVIN Phillips knows what it takes to win at Pride Park.

In 1999 Derby’s new as­sis­tant coach hit a hat­trick for Sun­der­land in a 5-0 away win en-route to fin­ish­ing the sea­son with 30 Premier League goals, while the Rams fin­ished that cam­paign with a league-high ten defeats on home turf.

This term they are also yet to register a win in front of their home faith­ful, but, when Burn­ley come to town to­mor­row, Phillips be­lieves that will be a per­fect time to start mak­ing Pride Park a fortress.

“(Burn­ley boss) Sean Dy­che al­ways sets his teams up so that they are hard to beat, but we’re the home team,” said the 42year-old, who has left his job as Le­ices­ter coach to join up with Paul Cle­ment.

“With that home crowd be­hind us it’s a tough place to come and get re­sults, I’ve seen it for my­self over the years as a player.We have to make it a bit of a fortress.

“Teams will en­joy com­ing to Pride Park be­cause it’s a great place to play football, but we need to make it ugly.We need to make it tough for op­po­nents.

“We’re only four points be­hind Burn­ley and both teams are com­ing off the back of some re­ally good re­sults, so it will be a tough match.”

Derby will be­gin their quest for change with­out cap­tain Chris Baird, who suf­fered a head in­jury in last week­end’s meet­ing with Pre­ston, but Ge­orge Thorne looks set to re­turn af­ter calf trou­ble.

For­mer Claret Jason Shack­ell also looks set to take his place in the start­ing Derby de­fence, and Burn­ley striker Sam Vokes is keen to show the 31year-old what he’s been miss­ing at Turf Moor.

“I’ll be speak­ing to Shacks in the build-up, I’m sure, and will be hav­ing a bit of ban­ter with him,” said Vokes. “It will be good to go up against him. He was ob­vi­ously a good mate when he was here, but when you step across the line it’s all pro­fes­sional.

“It’s im­por­tant we keep our heads down and take our re­cent per­for­mances into it.”


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