Rams boss give players extended break

  • by Staff Writer
  • Friday, 27th January 2023

Derby manager Paul Warne has given his players an unexpected break ahead of Monday night's FA Cup fourth round tie with West Ham.

The third-tier side host David Moyes' side at Pride Park where a full house is expected to see the Midlands club try to engineer another FA Cup upset.

And ahead of what is essentially a "free hit" for County, Warne revealed that he wants his players to go into the game - a match in which he admits his team will be huge underdogs - as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

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"My preparations are really intense because I am giving the lads three days off, so that’s a result," he said. "They need it. They’re physically beat really. That gives us two days prep to go into a game not as a favourite I think.

"Wherever we go, we have a great team, they’re in great form, we have a great following and everybody speaks really highly of them. But to keep pulling out performances, game on game, is mentally tough.

"I just think they can go into the West Ham game whoever I select and enjoy it for what it is," he continued. "I want them to enjoy it and not feel under any pressure.

"I want them to perform at a level that we can carry in to the next game win or lose. I just want a level of performance of which they can be proud."

Derby go into the game fourth in League One, 11 points behind current leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Unbeaten since going down 1-0 to Ipswich Town at Portman Road on 21 October, they have won 11 and drawn the remaining eight of their 19 fixtures since that reversal - including six straight wins going into Monday's clash with the Hammers.

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