Derby boss Nigel Clough has expressed his surprise at the scheduling of their npower Championship matches against rivals Nottingham Forest for the upcoming season.
The clubs will clash twice in the space of three-and-a-half weeks during the 2010/11 campaign. Derby travel to the City Ground on December 28 with the return fixture taking place at Pride Park on January 22.
"I found it a little bit strange the two games are so close together this season, actually," Clough told the Derby Telegraph. "Given what happened last season, I thought they might spread them out a bit more but maybe we are being tested to see if we can behave ourselves!"
Both of last season`s games proved controversial. Derby's 3-2 defeat at the City Ground in August ended in a mass brawl after Forest striker Nathan Tyson celebrated his team's win by waving a corner flag in front of the away fans. The Rams received a £20,000 fine, £10,000 of which was suspended, while Forest were fined £25,000, with £10,000 suspended, and Tyson was hit with a £5,000 fine and a suspended two-match ban.
In the return fixture at Pride Park in January, which Derby won 1-0, another melee broke out towards the end of the game involving players and coaching staff from both sides.
Derby's punishment for that was a £35,000 fine, plus the suspended £10,000 hanging over them. Forest received the same fine and both clubs were warned as to their future conduct.