Stuart Hughes' fan preview for Watford V Rams

Last updated : 13 January 2011 By Stuart Hughes
After a turbulent week following the FA Cup defeat at Crawley Town and the raft of ridiculous rumours that rose from the ashes, Derby County have an opportunity on Saturday to begin their recovery when they travel to Vicarage Road in the npower Championship.

The Rams might also be pleased that the game against Watford is an away one as that will give their supporters more time to get the frustration of recent poor results and the embarrassing cup loss out of their system.

Whether he was right or wrong to do so, club captain Robbie Savage criticised the home supporters after the last home game against Millwall which ended in a goalless draw. And in fairness to the skipper, a minority of Rams fans do have a track record of booing the team, and individual players, not only when the halftime and fulltime whistle sounds, but also during games.

I know supporters pay their hard-earned money to watch the Rams, and have every right to vent their displeasure, but booing players who are low on confidence during games is not going to help them improve their performances. What the Derby County players need now, particularly during this difficult run of poor form, is loud, vocal support. At least with an away game, the players are likely to receive that from the travelling Rams fans who will be determined to enjoy their trip down the M1 to Watford.

The poor run of form has seen Derby County lose six out of their last eight games in all competitions but, ignoring the FA Cup game, the Rams are unbeaten in their last two league games having beaten Preston North End 2-1 away and drawing 0-0 with Millwall at home.
Derby County are 13th in the npower Championship with 34 points from 25 games, five points behind Saturday's opponents Watford who also have a game in hand.

The Rams should take confidence from their comprehensive 4-1 victory over Watford at Pride Park Stadium on the 30th October but will not find the Hornets easy opponents, particularly in their own back yard. Watford have won their last six games in all competitions and are unbeaten in seven league games - winning five, drawing two.

Derby County were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Crawley Town and that will be forever in the history books. That's gone now though, it's done and dusted and cannot be changed. What's important now is how Derby County as a club and the Rams players respond to it. That response starts against Watford. Let's hope it's a positive response...