2009-2010 Championship Previews

Last updated : 03 August 2009 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)

Manager: Nigel Clough

Odds to win: 20/1. Odds for Promotion: 6/1


Position: 18th W:14 D:12 L:20 F:55 A:67 Points: 54

Top Scorer: Rob Hulse (18)

FA Cup: Fourth Round

League Cup: Semi-Finals

Yellows: 49 Reds: 2

Results against Reds:

30/8/08 Barnsley 2-0 Derby. 21/3/09 Derby 0-0 Barnsley


Name: Ian Hayes (www.derbycounty-mad.co.uk)

Derby County FC

Level of Interest: Season ticket holder,
Derby County Mad Editor

How has pre-season gone for you?

Very good so far, although we have only played local non-league sides so far. We will be playing Chesterfield this weekend and that should show if we have managed to make progress in the defensive department. Then we take on Premiership Stoke City before the league season begins.

Are you pleased with the signings your club has made?

Not sure at the moment. Shaun Barker looks to be a quality defender from Blackpool, Lee Croft also looks a good capture on a free from Norwich. The vast majority of players seem to be youngsters that have connections with Nigel Clough at some point in their career. This may be a good thing as he already has an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of these players when they arrived at the club.

What realistically are you aiming for this season?

A mid-table secure position is the minimal target for the season after flirting with relegation last season. However Nigel Clough has recently been more upbeat and hasn't ruled out a play-off position if things go well and players stay un-injured.

Which player has past his sell by date?

Again not an easy question to answer. The club and Clough are looking to streamline the squad for the season and many of the old-timers have or are set to leave before the season begins. At the time of writing Claude Davis (30) is having negotiations to pay off his contract. It may also be the final playing season for Robbie Savage, he needs to be played in short bursts now in my opinion but can still play a role for the Rams.

Have you got the right manager in charge?

Very hard to gauge the effectiveness of Nigel Clough at Championship level, as he hasn't had 'his' team playing for him and hasn't as yet completed a full season in charge. With players he has bought now in the squad it will be interesting to see if he can repeat his success he had at Burton Albion at Pride Park. Obviously the Clough name is a legend around Derby and everyone hopes that Nigel can follow in his fathers' footsteps and bring back the good times to Derby County.

What advice would you give him?

Follow his fathers' advice in building from the back. The Rams desperately need a settled defence. It was this part of the Rams play that cost them dearly last season and could be the key to success or failure this season.

Who do you see as your key player?

Rob Hulse was a top goalscorer last season and if it wasn't for his goals the Rams could have been in dire relegation trouble. Hopefully he can hit the 20+ goals this season and if we get a contribution from Chris Porter and from Kris Commons in midfield we should be in a better position than last season.

Who would you most like to beat this season?

Need you ask, it has to be Nottingham Forest. We play the Trees for the Brian Clough Trophy each time we play each other, as yet the trees have not managed to get their hands on the trophy. It is also great to have Leicester City to play this season which is usually a hard fought east midlands derby.

Where will you finish?

10th would be a good achievement for this season but would love to have a crack at the play-offs again.

How do you rate
Barnsley's chances next season and where do you think they will finish?

Think you have a reasonable squad, with a smattering of ex-Rams to help you along the way. Rob Kozluk is a great defender and Jon Macken can be a good striker at this level. I think you will be around midtable, say 12th.