Mark Robins wants his players to take inspiration from hosts Derby as they aim to kick-start a strong finish to the Championship season ahead of a hopefully more consistent campaign next time around.
With five games to go, 17th-placed Town still aren’t free of the worry of being sucked into a survival scrap after a sequence of eight games without a win.
A three-point haul from Pride Park, where kick-off is 3.07 as football marks the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, would be a massive pick-me-up after Tuesday’s dismal 2-0 home defeat by Ipswich.
But Steve McClaren’s third-placed Rams will be tough opponents as they push to secure their place in the play-offs.
“We’re up against another team going for promotion, and that’s the situation we would like to be in, up there fighting,” said Robins.
“We were nowhere near good enough on Tuesday but there have been plenty of occasions this season when the players have delivered.
“They have to get back to that level. It’s a big game and we need a big performance.”
Flo Bojaj scored and Joe Lolley had a run-out after being sidelined by shin splints as Town’s Under 21 side drew 1-1 at Derby.
Meanwhile former Rams player and assistant manager Steve Taylor makes his first return to Pride Park since becoming Robins’ No2.
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