Huddersfield Town's Alex Smithies says that by matching the intensity of their last two training sessions, Town will give themselves a great chance of upsetting the odds at Derby.
The bookies have the promotion-chasing Rams down as firm favourites at Pride Park, where Mark Robins’ 17th-placed side seek a first win in nine Championship games.
That’s especially so after the manner of the 2-0 home defeat by Ipswich on Tuesday, when Derby won 3-1 at Blackpool.
Town’s insipid performance was criticised by manager Robins and fans alike.
And keeper Smithies, who in Peter Clarke’s absence captained the side, said: “It was a long way off where we want it to be.
“Anyone who suggests the players don’t hurt after a game like that is well wide of the mark.
“We had a team meeting and spoke about what went wrong and what we need to change.
“Training since then has been intense, and the aim is to take that into the game.”
Derby have put Nottingham Forest and Charlton to the sword in their last two home games.
But Smithies, seeking a 10th clean sheet of the season, pointed out: “We played well at Reading a fortnight ago.
“That was a game we could and should have won.
“We know Derby will give us a tough test, but we’re genuinely looking forward to the game.
“It’s a great stadium and the atmosphere will be charged.
“We talked about taking responsibility and being stronger out on the pitch, and we want to do just that against Derby.”
Town headed to the East Midlands for an overnight stay after a morning work-out at PPG Canalside.
The Under 21s face Coventry in a Professional Development League II North game at the John Smith’s on Monday (1.00).
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