The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Daniel Ed­wards

HARRY Red­knapp has helped Portsmouth and QPR reach the Premier League – and striker Chris Martin is hop­ing that ex­pe­ri­ence will help Derby County join the list.

De­spite agree­ing to man­age Jor­dan for their next two World Cup qual­i­fiers, Red­knapp was ap­pointed foot­ball ad­vi­sor at Derby last Wed­nes­day.

At 69, there isn’t much Red­knapp hasn’t seen or done in the world of foot­ball, hav­ing also lifted the FA Cup with Portsmouth as well as reach­ing the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Cham­pi­ons League with Tot­ten­ham.


And while he has been out of foot­ball since leav­ing QPR 13 months ago, the Rams have hired the man once linked with the Eng­land job in or­der to stop light­ning strik­ing twice. Last sea­son Derby looked set for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion as they led the Cham­pi­onship in March, but two wins in the last 13 matches saw them fin­ish eighth.

This cam­paign, the Rams sat pretty at the sum­mit on Box­ing Day but sacked man­ager Paul Cle­ment just over a month later with Dar­ren Was­sall tak­ing up the reins.

And while the say­ing goes that too many cooks spoil the broth, Martin is sure the wily Red­knapp could prove the dif­fer­ence to the Rams this time around.

“He’s a very ex­pe­ri­enced man and hope­fully he can help us in our fi­nal push,” Martin said. “I think that’s the rea­son that the chair­man (Mel Mor­ris) and Dar­ren Was­sall moved to bring him in and that’s some­thing that we can tap into as play­ers.

“We are still in the race.That lit­tle bit of knowl­edge that he can bring can be in­valu­able to us; I don’t think we need mas­sive changes.

“We have got a very good squad, we have got great fa­cil­i­ties here and ev­ery­thing is in place.

“Hav­ing that lit­tle knack to be able to see games out, es­pe­cially with what hap­pened last week (the Rams let slip a three-goal lead in the fi­nal eight min­utes to draw 3-3 at Rother­ham), could be key for us.

“He’s been at a lot of clubs and seen a lot of things in foot­ball and I’m sure that ex­pe­ri­ence will be passed on to ev­ery­one over the re­main­ing games of the sea­son.”

One thing Red­knapp won’t need to fix is Martin’s nose for goal as, af­ter go­ing a lit­tle over two months with­out scor­ing, the 27year-old had found the net four times in his previ- ous six games head­ing into yes­ter­day’s derby with Not­ting­ham For­est.

And though he didn’t get on the score­sheet as Derby won the East Mid­lands show­down 1-0 yes­ter­day to get Red­knapp off to a flyer, it did help to ease the pain of last week’s late fi­asco against Neil Warnock’s rel­e­ga­tion­haunted Millers.

“We spoke about it to make sure what hap­pened in those fi­nal eight min­utes doesn’t hap­pen again,” Martin added.

“We shouldn’t be hav­ing to talk about things like this; we are all ex­pe­ri­enced enough to deal with that.

“Last Satur­day was a lit­tle bit of a freak re­sult, but hav­ing dealt with that dis­ap­point­ment, we have fully fo­cused on how good we were be­fore it.

“Be­fore they scored, our se­cond half per­for­mance was one of the best I’ve been part of. We need to take that for­ward in the run-in.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

SO POS­I­TIVE: Derby County striker Chris Martin and man­ager Dar­ren Was­sall share a light-hearted mo­ment

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