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Match Preview - Derby County v Fulham 29.01.05

last updated Friday 28th January 2005, 2:58 PM
Fulham boss Chris Coleman Fulham boss Chris Coleman has highlighted the impact made by Lee Clark's return from injury and claims the best is yet to come from his club captain.

Clark overcame a long-term calf problem to make his first appearance of the season against Crystal Palace on New Year's Day and his presence has inspired the Cottagers to a six-match unbeaten run.

It is the most successful sequence of Coleman's reign and the former Wales defender has admitted his delight at Clark's return to the fold.

"Lee has done very very well for us - he was out for a long time which was frustrating for him and us," he said.

"He's worked hard to get back, he's the club captain and has been brilliant in the dressing room and pitch.

"There's still more to come from Lee because it will take another game or two before he's firing on all cylinders.

"He played an important role when we beat Birmingham last weekend and he's a vital part of the squad - having him back is almost like signing a new player."

Claus Jensen, Alain Goma and Ian Pearce are back from injury and could all feature in Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash with Derby thanks to Coleman's decision to pick his best line-up for the match.

"The FA Cup is important for us. We want to beat Derby, go through to the next round and have a good cup run, so I will select our strongest side," he said.

"Derby away is a tough draw. They are a good team and have defeated Leeds and West Ham recently. But we want to win and will be taking the game very seriously.

"We've been on a good run and we must keep that going. Before we went on this run we were doing badly, losing two or three on the bounce all the time.

"But the last six games have gone really well and we must maintain that." Source: Sporting Life
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Pride Park, Derby -
FA Cup 29 Jan 2005
Derby Fulham
Games Played 31 24
Games Won 6 5
Games Drawn 4 1
Games Lost 6 6
Goals Scored 25 15
Avg goals scored per game 1.56 1.25
Goals Conceded 24 20
Avg goals conceded per game 1.50


Games Won 8 3
Games Drawn 2 3
Games Lost 5 6
Goals Scored 18 16
Avg goals scored per game 1.20 1.33
Goals Conceded 14 20
Avg goals conceded per game 0.93 1.67
Fouls 364 344
Ave Fouls Per Game 11.7 14.3
Yellow Cards 40 37
Fouls per yellow 9.1 9.3
Red Cards 2 4
Derby boss Derby's cup specialist is looking forward to this weekend's fourth round match against Fulham on the back of his ninth goal of the season on Wednesday night.

Tommy Smith - an FA Cup semi-finalist with both Watford and Sunderland in the past two years - broke the deadlock against Leeds United and told the official dcfc.co.uk website: "It was just a case of trying to create a bit of room and it ended up with a few dummies and I finally put the ball in the back of the net, so I was very pleased."

And the striker enjoyed playing in an experimental Chelsea-style 4-3-3 formation in the 2-0 victory over Leeds that saw Morten Bisgaard in a free role playing off lone striker Grzegorz Rasiak, with Tommy and Marco Reich on the flanks.

"The manager has started to refer to Marco and me as Robben and Duff in training!" joked Tommy. "It''s a similar formation to one we've played before, but Morten played a different role behind Greg. It was something I thought definitely worked for us, especially in the second half.

"Leeds came to us on the back of three away wins and obviously wanted to keep it tight and hit us late on, but we managed to do that to them."

Now Tommy is looking forward to the visit of Premiership Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

"It's a great time for the club, " he said. "We have Premiership opponents here at Pride Park, but Fulham are a team we have a great chance of getting a result against. All the pressure is on them because their league form isn't as good as it was last season when they had a great run."Source: Derby Co

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