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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 08:16 GMT 09:16 UK
Barnes upbeat over Rams survival
By Chris Bevan

Giles Barnes
Barnes starred as Derby won promotion last season
Derby County midfielder Giles Barnes has backed boss Billy Davies to keep the Rams in the Premier League.

The fiery former Preston manager often courted controversy as he guided Derby to promotion last season but Barnes believes his approach works.

"The gaffer doesn't hold back sometimes but he is a great motivator and he knows how to get the best out of his players," Barnes told BBC Sport.

"He has made some great signings and we know what we have to do to stay up."

Davies, who almost quit as Rams boss after securing victory over West Brom in the Championship play-off final, is banned from the touchline for Derby's curtain-raiser against Portsmouth on Saturday for abusing a match official last season.

The Rams have brought in seven players for a total of just over 7.5m this summer but Barnes - who only turned 19 at the beginning of August - is seen as being key to the Rams' survival hopes, and is already being courted by West Ham.

A foot injury sustained against the Baggies at Wembley means he will sit out the opening weeks of the season but he is relishing his return to action.

We have spent money and bought in some good players and we will be looking to do exactly what Reading did last year.

Giles Barnes

"I'm hoping to be back at the start of September," Barnes explained. "Everything is going really well - I have come out of my cast, I've been running in the pool and have been on the bike and rowing machine.

"I've been putting weight on my foot and if it keeps feeling the way it does then everything will be fine.

"It is frustrating to miss the start of the season - especially since I am not the best watcher in the world when I am on the sidelines - but I am looking forward to getting fit."

The Rams are among the favourites for relegation but Barnes, who was speaking at the launch of the Premier League's Creating Chances community project, feels they are capable of staying up.

"This season is not just about me proving myself in the Premier League but about the whole club doing that," added Barnes, the nephew of former Hammers player Bobby.


"With the squad we have got I think we can do well. We have spent money and bought in some good players and we will be looking to do exactly what Reading did last year.

"This will be my third year in the first team and we have got stronger every year I have been playing.

"When I first came into the team we were trying to avoid relegation and last year we won promotion. This year we are trying to stay up again - we have made steady improvement and we have to continue that.

"Some people looked at us last year and said it is just the same old faces that almost got relegated to League One but the gaffer brought in some really good players and had faith in some of us who were already there.

"He has done the same again this summer and we have a foundation now for next season.

"We have a really solid backline and midfield and strikers that can score goals. When you have got that you have got a chance of beating anybody."

Derby v Portsmouth
09 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Lawro's Premier League guide
07 Aug 07 |  Premier League
Davies given touchline ban & fine
09 Aug 07 |  Derby County
Derby chairman seeks Davies talks
29 May 07 |  Derby County
Derby boss waits on Davis injury
05 Aug 07 |  Derby County
Davies not fazed by Barnes' break
02 Jun 07 |  Derby County
Rams star ruled out of play-offs
01 May 07 |  Derby County
Promising Barnes stays at Derby
03 Aug 06 |  Derby County


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