BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: Football: Teams: Derby County  
Front Page 
Results/Fixtures 
Football 
Eng Prem 
FA Cup 
World Cup 2002 
Champions League 
Uefa Cup 
Worthington Cup 
Eng Div 1 
Eng Div 2 
Eng Div 3 
Eng Conf 
Scot Prem 
Scottish Cup 
CIS Ins Cup 
Scot Div 1 
Scot Div 2 
Scot Div 3 
Europe 
Africa 
Teams 
Cricket 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Tennis 
Golf 
Motorsport 
Boxing 
Athletics 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
Audio/Video 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

Sunday, 13 August, 2000, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Derby aim for survival
Jim Smith
Jim Smith aims to steer Derby's ship to success
Derby County 2000/2001 preview

The Rams main aim this season will be to avoid getting sucked into the relegation mire.

To do so they will have to improve on last season's woeful home form.

Pride Park was a fortress in its first season but last time out it was the away sides who tended to leave full of pride and with three points.

Jim Smith has tried to address his side's tendency to concede soft goals to some of the poorer teams in the league during the close season.

The uncompromising and experienced Norwegian international Bjorn Otto Bragstad has been brought in to add a resolve and steel that has been lacking since the departure of Igor Stimac.

Astute signing

The addition of young left back Danny Higginbotham from Manchester United could also prove to be one of Jim Smith's more astute signings.

  Transfers in
Danny Higginbotham (Man Utd), 2m
Simo Valakari (Motherwell), free
Georgi Kinkladze (Ajax), 3m
Bjorn Otto Bragstad (Rosenborg), 1.5m
Youl Mawene (Lens), 500,000

The core of Derby's team is stronger than it was last season.

Goalkeeper Mart Poom has established himself as one of the Premier League's top shot stoppers, Bragstad can help shore up the defence, while Craig Burley brings experience and guile in midfield.

In attack big things will be expected from Branko Strupar, the man charged with the responsibility of correcting Derby's goalscoring deficiencies.

But perhaps the most exciting prospect for Derby will be the continuing progress of a clutch of talented youngsters.

Young prospects

Steve Elliott and Rory Delap both look increasingly accomplished in defence.

England under-21 international Seth Johnson should only get better as experience adds to his raw passion and determination, while both Lee Morris and Malcolm Christie look capable of scoring goals at the top level.

If the Rams are capable of avoiding being drawn into the dogfight again there may be more chance for the side's flair players to demonstrate their ability.

  Transfers out
Mikkel Beck (Lille), 500,000
Esteban Fuertes (Lens), 4m
Richard Knight (Oxford), free
Sinclair Le Geyt (Port Vale), free
Tony Dorigo (Stoke), free
Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (Port Vale), free
Michael Lyons, released
Danny Porter, released
Amrit Sidhu, released

Stefano Eranio and Georgi Kinkladze delighted the Pride Park faithful with fleeting bursts of sublime skill last season and with a team more comfortably positioned in mid-table there may be more room for them to express themselves.

The fitness and form of Kinkladze will be crucial to Derby's season.

He was signed for 3m from Ajax during the summer after a loan spell last season and his ability alone could elevate Derby from a basement struggle to mid-table respectability.

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
FA Carling Premiership
Choose a Premiership team from the drop down menu for a preview of this season's chances



Premiership

See also:

08 Aug 00 |  Derby County
Blatsis joins Rams
06 Aug 00 |  Birmingham City
Francis has Sturridge bid turned down
02 Aug 00 |  Derby County
Derby make Mawene acquisition
Links to top Derby County stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to other Derby County stories

^^ Back to top