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Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Saturday, 7 August 2010 20:24 UK

Robbie Savage hails brave Derby display


'Fantastic' win delights Savage

Derby midfielder Robbie Savage praised his side's brave display in earning a battling 2-1 victory at Leeds on the opening day of the Championship season.

A Rob Hulse strike and a Kris Commons penalty, either side of a Luciano Becchio goal gave Derby the win.

Before the game, Rams boss Nigel Clough stopped the team coach and made his players walk 200 yards to the ground through the Leeds fans.

"We were brave, we were honest and we deserved the win," said Savage.

"The gaffer stopped the coach and we walked to the ground through the Leeds fans and we showed no fear and not one Leeds fan said anything."

Clough won't get carried away

It was an exciting encounter between two teams who share much historical rivalry, not least of all that Clough's father Brian managed both - Derby to the League title in 1972 and Leeds for an infamous period of 44 days at the start of the 1974/75 season.

In the first half, both side's offered plenty of attacking intent, with Derby the more fluent of the two, thanks largely to the quartet of Hulse, Commons, Paul Green and Tomasz Cywka.

Green set up Hulse to fire in Derby's first goal and Cywka was tripped to allow Commons to fire in their second from the penalty spot.

In between, Luciano Becchio slotted home for Leeds after Jonny Howson had capitalised on a mistake by Savage to tee up the striker.

Grayson encouraged despite defeat

"The gaffer wanted us to play football and we've done that first half," said Savage.

"It was a bad mistake from us for the Leeds goal but we tried to play football and got our goals doing that. In the second half we were very resolute."

It was Leeds' first opening-day defeat in 21 years, and Savage feels it could be the springboard for a succesful Derby season.

"The lads were fantastic and to come here on opening day when we weren't given a chance we've done alright," he claimed.

"If we play our football, were going to get caught at times, as we did with the goal, but were going to play and learn from the gaffer. We're the underdogs and we love that."

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see also
Leeds 1-2 Derby
07 Aug 10 |  Championship
Bruce aiming for Leeds promotion
05 Aug 10 |  Leeds
Rams coach upbeat for new season
02 Aug 10 |  Derby

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