The BIG Interview - Jeff Kenna

Last updated : 08 April 2005 By The Rambler

DerbyMad: You must have been pleased to get 3 points at Crewe on Tuesday.

JeffKenna: That win certainly got us back on track.

DM: Psychologically as much as anything I would guess.

JK: Yes. Ipswich was always going to be tough. Disappointing that we didn’t come away with something but I thought that our second half performance didn’t merit anything so it was very important that we got back into winning ways at Crewe. Which we did. Obviously it is a big lift after a disappointment at the weekend so now we look forward to Stoke.

DM: Despite the fact that Crewe haven’t been winning lately Gresty Road is not an easy place to get a result is it?

JK: The thing is that now you look at the games that we have and the teams that we play all have something to play for. Be it to stay in this division or to make the playoffs. Three months ago on paper you might have thought that we had an easy run in. As it has panned out there are no easy games between now and the end of the season and Crewe was just another difficult place to go and get a result. And thankfully we did.

DM: I suppose the only good thing to take out of this kind of difficult run is that you know that the other teams will be up for it. If you are playing sides who have nothing to play for then results can go any way.

JK: Yes that is true. When clubs need points for whatever reason they tend not to sit back and just sit back and defend and hit you on the break. They make more of a game and I think that will suit us. And hopefully we can get enough points to cement our place in the playoffs.

DM: When you played Stoke earlier in the season it was a good performance and you were robbed at the death.

JK: I expect that this will be a similar sort of game. They are well organized and work very hard, but it is important for us as the home team to stamp our authority on the game and impose the way that we want to play and I’m sure that we will create plenty of chances and score some goals.

DM: Of course you know that by this stage of the season no team is unbeatable.

JK: I think that certainly going forward we are an attractive proposition. I suppose on the other side of that we do tend o leave ourselves open a bit. But as long as we score more goals than we concede I will be happy with that.

DM: It’s been a good season for you after a spot of bother at the start. You now find yourself at least temporarily wearing the captain’s armband.

JK: We had a disagreement at he beginning of the season if you want to call it that. That has all gone. It happens at every club. As far as I’m concerned it is long gone. I can’t believe you even brought it up to be fair but obviously Ian Taylor has been out of the team for a few weeks as has Johnno so I have been given the armband and am delighted to have it.

DM: I only brought it up to emphasize what a funny game football can be.

JK: Yes I suppose so. It’s long gone now and history. Let it stay there.

DM: Another piece of history is the fact that you told me before the season started that Derby would get into the playoff this season.

JK: I didn’t say categorically that we were going to be in the playoffs. I said that we needed to aim for the playoffs. It was a disappointing season last year. We obviously just stayed up by one point. You have got to set your standards, or certainly our ambitions as high as you can because if we had to set our sights for mid table I think that is all we would have achieved. We have set our sights higher and we are certainly on the periphery and another couple of good results and good performances and we should be there.

DM: Do you think you would be able to win a one of final if you got into the playoffs?

JK: Yes. As we have said before attacking wise I think we are up there with the top three clubs. We do create an awful lot of chances. Obviously I think we need to be a little tighter defensively. Certainly when we go a couple of goals up in a game we need to learn how to kill the game off instead of constantly attacking and looking to score maybe 4 or 5 goals. There comes a time in a game when you have to accept that you have got 2 and settle for that, and get more defensive minded and kill a game off. That is another step. At the moment our performances are pretty good and we are happy with that getting us through games.