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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 05:35 GMT 06:35 UK
We will stay up, says Derby boss
By Paul Fletcher

Derby boss Billy Davies
Davies is confident his team will survive in the Premier League
Derby County manager Billy Davies has seen enough from his team to convince him they will avoid relegation from the Premier League.

The Rams, who won promotion last season through the Championship play-offs, are bottom of the table after eight games, but have played four of the top six.

"I'm confident that over time we will get better," Davies told BBC Sport.

"We will become more familiar with our surroundings and achieve what we have to achieve - which is consolidation."

Davies, 43, has seen his team lose 4-0 at Tottenham, 6-0 at Liverpool and 5-0 at Arsenal as the Rams have struggled to adjust to life in the top flight.

I'm very happy we are still in the mix

Billy Davies

But Davies is adamant that his players are close to achieving the first target he set them.

"Not being detached from the rest of the Premier League was the most important target over the first 10 matches," added Davies.

"That was a realistic and clear objective at the start of the season.

"I'm very happy we are still in the mix."


Davies is quick to point out that Derby are one point behind Tottenham, two adrift of Fulham and Reading, while Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Wigan have three more points.

"I'm obviously not happy at being bottom of the league," said the Scot.

"But from where we have come from and what we have spent in comparison with everybody else, I'm delighted with where we are."

Derby won promotion to the Premier League in his first season at Pride Park, securing their place in the top flight with a 1-0 win over West Brom in the play-offs.

7 Oct: Reading (A)
20 Oct: Fulham (A)
27 Oct: Everton (H)
3 Nov: Aston Villa (A)
10 Nov: West Ham (H)

It was the third season in succession that Davies, previously in charge at Preston, managed a team involved in the Championship play-offs.

Davies believes that the extra weeks to the season involved in a play-off campaign has a negative effect.

But he is confident the Rams are finally starting to recover from the effects of their elongated 2006-07 season.

"The season after a play-off final you do have a reaction. It shortens your rest period and has an effect on the start of following season.

"The fixture list was very unkind with Derby playing teams like Arsenal and Liverpool and other top clubs so early in the season.

"We are moving into a run of games in which I feel that if we turn up we are certainly capable of picking up points. They are not easy and will be very difficult but if we do perform we can pick up points."

Derby 1-1 Bolton
29 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Arsenal 5-0 Derby
22 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Derby 1-0 Newcastle
17 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Liverpool 6-0 Derby
01 Sep 07 |  Premier League
Rams rubbish Davies exit rumours
07 Sep 07 |  Derby County
Davies laughs off sack race talk
16 Jun 07 |  Derby County
Derby boss Davies agrees new deal
03 Jul 07 |  Football
Davies rounds on Derby's critics
11 May 07 |  Derby County
Derby 1-0 West Brom
28 May 07 |  Championship


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