Rams fan Andy Buckley-Taylor assesses his team's chances as they prepare to head to Elland Road on Wednesday.
It’s half time in the play off semi-final against Leeds and we find ourselves one goal down after the home leg at Pride Park.
We failed to get a single effort on target It was a masterful performance from the Leeds defence.
To be honest we were second best for much of the game after being out-muscled in midfield and we failed to pose any sort of real threat when we did get the ball in the final third of the field. However, its not impossible to turn this around and provided the players have that self belief anything is possible.
For me, Tom Huddlestone needs to be starting the second leg. He possesses the ability to play good long passes that could stretch the Leeds players, something missing in the first leg. Leeds fans may think that it’s job done, and although they were clearly the better side, these play-offs often produce a twist in the tail.
Remember when we thought it was job nearly done after winning at Southampton and they came to our place and pulled it back to get the game to penalties? Remember Hull beating us 3-0 only for us to go close to wiping that out at the KCOM? We remember our neighbours Nottingham Forest winning 2-0 at Yeovil only to collapse 5-2 at home!
Complacency is a very dangerous thing in football. People will point out that it’s Leeds and they have been in the top two for much of the season, but let’s have a look at the top two. Norwich got a 1-1 draw at Pride Park, but we beat them on their own patch 4-3. Sheffield United may have beaten us at Bramall Lane, but we were worthy winners at home.
Such is the nature of the Championship that anything can happen!
All I ask is that our players take the game to Leeds. An early goal will put the pressure on them and players can start to panic when that happens. We need to ask questions of them on the night and do a job. They aren’t unbeatable and they will be nervous having choked a top two place.
The pressure is on Leeds. We are NOT out of this tie just yet and such is the character of us this season, we can pull this back. It’s not the Derby way to things the easy way. Let’s get behind our team on Wednesday and no matter what the score is, applaud them at the end of the game.