Clough out to ease keeper troubles

11 March 2010 07:35
Clough was forced to put captain Robbie Savage in goal for 50 minutes after seeing first-choice Stephen Bywater limp off injured and replacement Saul Deeney sent off.

But Clough is confident of having a goalkeeper in on loan for Saturday's trip to Doncaster after setting his staff on the task at half-time.

"We have already made some calls and we will have a loan keeper in for the weekend," he said.

"I've never lost two keepers in a night before. Stephen has been playing with a back injury and it seized up so he had to come off.

"Saul was doing well until he got sent off. I had no complaints with the penalty decision but it would have been a hell of a finish to score from where the ball had rolled to.

"I thought we'd eradicated that rule that it was a straight red card.

"But Robbie wasn't getting a kick in midfield so we thought he was the best candidate.

"Robbie's had an hour breather now as well. When you go down to 10 men and are 3-1 down you are already planning for the next game and we've only got two and a half days to prepare now."

The Rams are just five points above the relegation zone after goals from Shane Long, Jimmy Kebe, Ryan Bertrand and Simon Church rendered Gilles Sunu's strike meaningless.

Clough has targeted four more wins for Derby to preserve their Championship status and is confident that both sides will be playing each other next season.

He said: "We have been looking over our shoulder all season and that won't change. We need four more wins to be certain of staying up and that is our aim.

"Reading are far too good to go down."

Reading boss Brian McDermott has seen his resurgent side win six of their last seven league games and in Kebe and Long have the in-form duo in the Championship.

Kebe has hit six goals in seven games while Long boasts a record of seven in his last six appearances - but did miss a penalty after Deeney had hauled down Jay Tabb.

McDermott said: "We'd had a tough game against Aston Villa on Sunday but we came out all guns blazing and at times we were excellent.

"It's difficult to play against 10 men and we had a sticky spell but once we got the third it was comfortable.

"There were no special instructions to shoot at Savage, I just wanted us to keep our shape and the chances would come.

"We are edging towards safety now. We've taken 18 points from 21 and we are not far away from midtable.

"We are dragging teams toward us and we have players now who are looking the part."

Source: Team_Talk