Shay Given looking forward to big games for Derby County


Derby County coach Shay Given has said that the team are looking forward to the big games before the close of the regular season. The Rams have been in superb form since the restart with three wins on the bounce and that has brought them to within one point off Cardiff City, who are occupying the final play-off spot.

Still, they have plenty of work to do as they are scheduled to face Nottingham Forest, West Bromwich Albion, Brentford, Cardiff City and Leeds United in five of their remaining six matches. All of these teams are currently in the top six of the Championship and Given insists that the players are relishing the big challenge at hand.

He told Rams TV: “We have some massive games coming up in the next few weeks and it’s against teams around us and that’s great. The big games were the ones that I used to enjoy as a player – the bigger the game the better – and the players are really looking forward to the games ahead. They are against teams around us and fighting for top six; we are very much in the mix now. I always think these games are better because there is more at stake for either clubs and we feel that our team can rise to the occasion.”

Earlier in February, the Rams were languishing 15th on the table after four winless games on the bounce and their promotion hopes seem to have faded. However, they have since won five matches on the trot and are now with a realistic chance of qualifying for the play-offs. The task won’t be easy as they have to directly compete with their promotion rivals and it remains to be seen whether the Rams rise up to the occasion. The club have been in a good scoring form over the past five matches and they have averaged more than two goals per game.