MATCH PREVIEW: FULHAM v DERBY
Posted on: Thu 18 Oct 2007
Derby County have the chance to get the next stage of their season underway on Saturday with another opportunity to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.
They have had two weeks to get the defeat at Reading out of their system during the latest international break.
Now they go to Fulham on Saturday knowing that victory will lift them off the bottom of the table and above their hosts.
But success is paramount for the Craven Cottage side too.
Fulham find themselves third from bottom, just two places and two points above the Rams and with just one win to their name this season.
That success came at Craven Cottage where they have also drawn twice and been beaten twice.
Lawrie Sanchez did well to stabilise Fulham last season but 2007/08 hasn't been too kind so far.
Lee Cook and Jimmy Bullard (both knee) remain on the sidelines with long-term knee injuries.
Derby have Craig Fagan back after his four-game ban and boss Billy Davies will be hoping his internationals return unscathed from their travels.
Defender Chris Baird told www.fulhamfc.com:
"We've got to pick ourselves up, get some rest and look forward to the game against Derby.
"It's a massive game - three points and nothing less.
"That's what we want. We'll be going all out to get them so fingers crossed."
Derby's last league trip to Craven Cottage ended in a 0-0 draw, in August 2001, though they have lost there in both the League Cup and the FA Cup since.
Dean Leacock joined the Rams from Fulham and - if he plays on Saturday - will be making his 50th Derby appearance.
Steve Howard needs just two more appearances to reach 550 in his career.
Phil Dowd takes charge of Derby for the first time in a season that has so far seen him sent to a range of venues from Leigh RMI to the Emirates Stadium.
Dowd has issued 33 yellow cards and added one dismissal in his ten 2007/08 outings.
His last Derby assignment came on the final day of 2005/06 when he blew the whistle when Sheffield Wednesday won 2-0 at Pride Park.