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'Derby Are A Different Side Under Clough'

'Derby Are A Different Side Under Clough'

Roberto Martinez is expecting a tough game tonight against Derby, who he says are a different side under new boss Nigel Clough.

Clough took over at Pride Park in January and his record so far is 11 games, 5 wins, 5 defeats and 1 draw.

Following relegation from the Premiership last season, County were looking to bounce back with an instant return to the top flight, but instead they began battling at the wrong end of the table.

Clough has installed some much needed stability at the club, they look like they'll comfortably avoid a relegation battle, but there's too much ground to make up in little to reach the play-offs.

The Rams are currently in 16th place and 11 points adrift of us, but Martinez believes that's not a true reflection of their true potential in this League.

The Swans boss told the Evening Post:

'Now Nigel has taken over as manager they are a completely different side,'

'From the outset he has absorbed the pressures of the club.

'He is allowing the players to enjoy their football — letting them know that playing in front of 30,000 people should be a positive not a negative.

'Before that I think they were feeling the pressure and they were a little cagey, but he has given them a lot of freedom and they look a new side.

'It's not just the Clough name which takes the pressure off the players. Probably that will work for one game, but after that it's the way you allow the players to express themselves.

'That surname maybe means they have the belief the fans — I think he was the fans' choice which is important — and that's important because there is no patience in football. People will give you some margin for error.'

Martinez also praised Clough for the work he has done at the club in the little time he's worked there, the Spaniard added:

'Since Nigel took over I think the table doesn't reflect the real position or the real threat of Derby County as a team and as a football club at the moment,'

'But to see them where they are in the league while we are fighting to get into the top six speaks volumes about what we have done this season.

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Date:Tuesday March 3 2009
Time: 11:41AM

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# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 9 6 2 1 20 11
2 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 20 10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 20 9
4 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 19 10
5 Spurs 9 5 4 0 19 9
6 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 5
7 Man Utd 9 4 2 3 14 1
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9 Watford 9 3 3 3 12 0
10 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 3 3 12 0
11 Crystal Palace 9 3 2 4 11 0
12 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 -4
13 WBA 9 2 4 3 10 0
14 Burnley 9 3 1 5 10 -5
15 West Ham 9 3 1 5 10 -7
16 Stoke 9 2 3 4 9 -7
17 Middlesbrough 9 1 4 4 7 -4
18 Hull City 9 2 1 6 7 -14
19 Swansea 9 1 2 6 5 -7
20 Sunderland 9 0 2 7 2 -10
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