Business as usual.
That was the message that Pep Clotet wanted to stress when looking forward to this weekend’s game.
Derby County have had a rough couple of days. Not only were three of their players involved in a terrible off-the-pitch incident, but it turns out that their captain Richard Keogh will be out for the rest of the season.
Speaking in his press conference yesterday, Clotet talked about the Derby captain and how he doesn’t think his absence will make a difference to the team:
“I don’t take it into account, it will probably only have an effect on them until the game starts. What happens to them doesn’t make the game easier for us, the game is difficult enough and we need to prepare for the most difficult situation. Derby will be strong, they will hope to win their first home game and we have to be prepared for that. As soon as the ref says, ‘OK we go’ all that is nothing.”
However, I’m not so sure if that’s the case. If it was another player that had been ruled out for the season, I’d be inclined to agree with Pep over the whole affair. There’s just something different though when it comes to losing your captain, someone who has played over 350 times for the club, then it just takes away that little bit more from your team.
Personally I think that this whole incident makes it the perfect time to play Derby County. Not only have they been on a bad run of form on the pitch, but all this stuff that has been going on around them will have been a huge distraction in their preparations, and it’s just fortunate for us that we are the first team in a position to be able to exploit that.
What about you? Do you think that all the off the pitch stuff will be a hindrance to Derby tomorrow? Or do you think that it can be a boost for them?