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[FM19] Derby County - Director of Football Challenge

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 31 March 2019

Stuniverse: Thank you for sorting out Mason Bennett’s contract.

Igor Stimac: My pleasure. He’s a good player with lots of potential.

Stuniverse: I agree. And one of our own.

Igor Stimac: [Laughs]. Exactly.

Stuniverse: Any news on Hudds?

Igor Stimac: I’m sorry I can’t recommend renewing on Tom Huddlestone right now?

31032019_hudds_contract_advice.thumb.png.986008c6938893537f7dbf4d2e05e371.png

Stuniverse: Why not?

Igor Stimac: Because of the club’s rather perilous financial position.

Stuniverse: We have a one year extension option.

Igor Stimac: I’m sorry. Club finances [sigh].

Stuniverse: Really? Is it that bad?

Igor Stimac: Let’s just say making sure we get promoted will be in all of our best interests.

Stuniverse: We’re working on it.

Igor Stimac: I know you are, you’re doing a fantastic job.

Stuniverse: Thanks. See you soon.

Igor Stimac: OK. Dovidenja.

Derby County Finances

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 6 April 2019

TWO YOUNG RAMS TURN PROFESSIONAL

RamsFanzine: Derby County U18 duo Callum Minkley and Morgan Whitaker have signed a professional contract with the Rams until the summer of 2020.

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Game date: 6 April 2019

TWO MORE YOUNG RAMS TURN PROFESSIONAL

RamsFanzine: Derby County U18 duo Connor Dixon and Yohan Greco have signed a professional contract with the Rams until the summer of 2020.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Saturday 6 April 2019

Pre-match v Brentford (a) - Championship (40)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: Last time away from home you beat Swansea 4-0 but, prior to that, you'd drawn two and lost two of your previous four away matches. Would you agree you've been struggling away from home?

Stuniverse: I think all football clubs find it harder to play away than they do at home. We've only lost three away from home in the league all season so I wouldn't say we're struggling.

RamsFanzine: Leeds (2nd) are away at Birmingham (18th) and Aston Villa (3rd) are away to Sheffield Wednesday (22nd). They should both win, shouldn't they?

Stuniverse: I would never say that but we're fortunate that it's entirely in own hands at the moment and if we do our job right, and get the results we know we can, then we don't have to worry about Leeds, Villa or anybody else.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: You've made two changes today.

Stuniverse: Yes, Mason Mount comes in for the injured Andy King (hamstring). Andre Wisdom felt his achilles in training, and Jayden Bogle came back a little tired from the England U19s, so Fikayo Tomori starts at right-back. Marcus Olsson (ACL) is in contention now. Scott Carson (knee) isn't ready yet and Andy King (knee cap) is some way off.

Post-match: Brentford (1) 3-2 (1) Derby County

RamsFanzine: Well that didn't go according to plan, did it?

Stuniverse: No, it didn't. But credit to Brentford, I thought they played very well and were a credit to their football club and their manager David Wagner.

RamsFanzine: They scored from a free-kick in less than two minutes. Should Roos have done better?

Stuniverse: Possibly. Possibly Kelle Roos was a bit slow getting across his line but you have to salute Emiliano Marcondes, it was a sensational strike. And let's not forget that Kelle made three or four excellent saves at 1-1 to keep us in it. Jack Marriott equalised for us before half-time. Then when we went 2-1 down I changed it up to 4-4-2 and went very attacking, and it worked because we peppered their goal and Robert Mak scored to make it 2-2. At that point, maybe we should've eased off a bit but I thought we could go on and win it. Unfortunately they hit us on a counterattack and they won the match late on. Fair play to them, overall I think Brentford deserved it.

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RamsFanzine: Leeds drew with Birmingham, but Aston Villa won at Sheffield Wednesday.

Stuniverse: Six matches to go and we're still in the box seat. Today was a setback, but we work hard in training and go again against Blackburn at Ewood Park on Tuesday.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 7 April 2019

THREE YOUNG RAMS SIGN UP FOR TWO YEARS

RamsFanzine: Derby County U18 trio Jason Knight, Lee Buchanan and Sam French have signed a professional contract with the Rams until the summer of 2021.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 8 April 2019

MARK TAYLOR SIGNS ON AS PHYSIO

RamsFanzine: Igor Stimac has confirmed that Mark Taylor has joined Derby County as a physio until the summer of 2022.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Tuesday 9 April 2019

Pre-match v Blackburn Rovers (a) - Championship (41)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: Another away match tonight, this time against 13th placed Blackburn. Your away form has been good for most of the season but you've lost three and drawn two of your last six away matches, winning only one. Can you improve that form?

Stuniverse: We hope so. We're confident we can. But the players have to do so on the pitch.

RamsFanzine: Aston Villa don't play until tomorrow and are away to bottom club Rotherham. Tonight, Leeds are away at Preston, who are just outside the playoff places in 7th place. Can Preston do you a favour?

Stuniverse: Rotherham are fighting to avoid relegation, at their place you just never know. It would be nice for Preston to do us a favour. Leeds are a very good team, but Preston away could be a tough match for them.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: Three changes tonight.

Stuniverse: Yes. Scott Carson returns in goal for Kelle Roos. Bradley Johnson comes in for Robert Mak. Curtis Davies was one of a number of players looking leggy after the Brentford match, so Jayden Bogle comes in at right-back with Fikayo Tomori going to centre-back. I considered making more changes but decided to not change too much. 

RamsFanzine: Your selection suggests a change of system tonight. Is that the case?

Stuniverse: Yes. The 4-2-3-1 has worked brilliantly for us at home, but hasn't worked so well on the road. Tonight we're going back to the 4-1-2-3 that has been working for most of the season. We just think the holding midfielder makes us more solid away from home and gives us more opportunity to control the midfield and launch attacks.

Post-match: Blackburn Rovers (2) 6-1 (0) Derby County

Stuniverse: That was terrible. Totally unacceptable. We had just under 2,800 of our fans in Ewood Park tonight and I want to apologise to them.

RamsFanzine: What do you put it down to?

Stuniverse: I don't want to make excuses but we looked shattered out there. I think maybe a long, hard season caught up with us tonight. And I'm going to hold my hand up and take the blame on that one because I got the selection wrong. I rested a couple of players who looked leggy in training but there was another four or five looking equally leggy who I should've rested too. I didn't. I thought we were better off keeping things familiar and not changing too much. Some of the players looked dead on their feet out there and that one's on me.

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RamsFanzine: Leeds won 2-1 at Preston and now have the same points as you. You're still top but your goal difference advantage is down to just two. Aston Villa (3rd) should win at Rotherham (24th) tomorrow night to close the gap to 3rd to nine points. Is there a danger this 6-1 thrashing will demoralise your squad?

Stuniverse: Obviously it's a very bad defeat but it's only one match. It's the worst we've played all season but, apart from tonight, the players have been magnificent all season and we need to remind them of that and then go back to the training ground and work hard. We're top with five matches to play for a reason. We have to do what's needed to get us over the line and I promise the fans we'll be working hard and doing everything we can to achieve promotion.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Wednesday 10 April 2019

VILLA CLOSE GAP TO NINE POINTS

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 10 APRIL 2019

DERBY COUNTY PLAYERS TO PERSONALLY REFUND RAMS FANS

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In all my years playing FM I've never seen this before. Ouch! That must mean it's the worst match I've ever managed.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Saturday 13 April 2019

Pre-match v Bolton Wanderers (H) - Championship (42)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: After losing 6-1 at Blackburn on Tuesday, how has morale been this week?

Stuniverse: It was a terrible performance, but we've reviewed it as a squad, and now we've moved on. The Blackburn match has gone. We have five massive matches now, starting at home to Blackburn, and the prize is close. For most of these players that prize will be life changing and we'll be working hard in training and giving all we can in the remaining matches. Promotion is still in our own hands and we're determined to get the job done. 

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RamsFanzine: Leeds are level with you on points and will be favourites at home to Sheffield Wednesday (23rd). Aston Villa (3rd) are home to Bristol City (8th). Is the pressure getting to your players?

Stuniverse: Overall our form is pretty good but, I'll admit, Leeds and Villa are flying at the moment. The Championship is a tough league though and we still have promotion in our own hands. As long as it stays that way, we're only concerned about what we do.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: Talk us through your team selection today?

Stuniverse: Three changes. Our captain Curtis Davies is back in for Fikayo Tomori, Andre Wisdom replaces Jayden Bogle, and Robert Mak returns for Tom Huddlestone.

RamsFanzine: After your heavy defeat last time were you tempted to make more changes?

Stuniverse: The 6-1 loss at Blackburn was embarrassing but I take responsibility for that. We've won our last seven at home so our home form isn't broken. I've gone back to 4-2-3-1 today and picked an 11 and subs bench that I know are good enough to keep that run going. They've worked hard in training, look sharp and match fit. It's over to the players now.

Post-match: Derby County (3) 5-1 (0) Bolton Wanderers

Stuniverse: I'm absolutely delighted with that performance and result. The players bounced back magnificently, as I had every confidence they would, but 5-0 was beyond my wildest dreams. We showed exactly what we're capable of today and I hope the fans enjoyed it. There was another 31,000 plus crowd today and our supporters were fantastic. Bolton started well but, from the moment Craig Forsyth gave us the lead with a stunning strike from outside the area, I sensed, and I think the supporters sensed, there was only going to be one winner. Tom Lawrence, Jack Marriott, Robert Mak, and Martyn Waghorn chipped in with good goals. Five goals. Five different goal scorers. It doesn't get much better than that. It would've been nice to keep a clean sheet but you can't always have everything.

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RamsFanzine: Leeds United (2nd) dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday (22nd), but Aston Villa (3rd) won again beating Bristol City 3-1 (9th). You're now nine points clear of 3rd with just 12 points left to play for. The Premier League is within touching distance now and you could clinch your promotion on Good Friday at Birmingham if other results go your way. Is the champagne on ice?

Stuniverse: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The players have worked tremendously hard to put themselves in the box seat but it's important they keep their eye on the ball now and continue to work hard. It would be heart breaking to mess this up now.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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I'll stick my neck on the line and say Villa won't get another 9 points, so you'll be up even with that total. That Blackburn game was a very strange one though!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, coady said:

I'll stick my neck on the line and say Villa won't get another 9 points, so you'll be up even with that total. That Blackburn game was a very strange one though!

Thanks, @coady. Villa and Leeds were #1 and #2 in the form table (last five matches before the fixtures just played) - we were about 5th or 6th - so I’m not counting my chickens. I appreciate your confidence though 😀

The Blackburn game I started three players under 90% Condition in Huddlestone, Mount and Forsyth. Having already rested Davies who was 80something% as well. That’s something I hardly ever do as 90% is my minimum condition level for a player to start unless it’s impossible to fill a team that way. Forsyth was forced at LB as Malone could only manage 45 minutes and I didn’t want to risk Olsson as his match fitness is very low. I suppose I could’ve played Johnson or even Anya there. I also rushed Carson back a couple of days before he was back in full training (though in my fairness he was cleared to play in a fitness test).

Then 2-0 down at half-time, I went 4-4-2 Attacking, making two substitutions at the break, and stuck with it even when Blackburn scored a 3rd and a 4th. My squad should be good enough that any combination of 11 90%+ condition players should be competitive in the Championship but I talked myself out of making enough changes to test that assumption.

The 1-6 Blackburn debacle is on me but I was so relieved when we bounced back 5-1 against Bolton.

Edited by Stuniverse

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2 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Thanks, @coady. Villa and Leeds were #1 and #2 in the form table (last five matches before the fixtures just played) - we were about 5th or 6th - so I’m not counting my chickens. I appreciate your confidence though 😀

The Blackburn game I started three players under 90% Condition in Huddlestone, Mount and Forsyth. Having already rested Davies who was 80something% as well. That’s something I hardly ever do as 90% is my minimum condition level for a player to start unless it’s impossible to fill a team that way. Forsyth was forced at LB as Malone could only manage 45 minutes and I didn’t want to risk Olsson as his match fitness is very low. I suppose I could’ve played Johnson or even Anya there. I also rushed Carson back a couple of days before he was back in full training (though in my fairness he was cleared to play in a fitness test).

Then 2-0 down at half-time, I went 4-4-2 Attacking, making two substitutions at the break, and stuck with it even when Blackburn scored a 3rd and a 4th. My squad should be good enough that any combination of 11 90%+ condition players should be competitive in the Championship but I talked myself out of making enough changes to test that assumption.

The 1-6 Blackburn debacle is on me but I was so relieved when we bounced back 5-1 against Bolton.

I'm always the same with the 90% condition rule. Do you ever consider resting key players from training for a couple of days before big games in the latter stages of the season? Especially with the core at the Derby team, which has plenty of experience and fairly injury prone players on paper.

You couldn't have asked for a much more friendly home game to bounce back, in fairness. Hopefully QPR at home will be similar for you, if needed.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, coady said:

I'm always the same with the 90% condition rule. Do you ever consider resting key players from training for a couple of days before big games in the latter stages of the season? Especially with the core at the Derby team, which has plenty of experience and fairly injury prone players on paper.

You couldn't have asked for a much more friendly home game to bounce back, in fairness. Hopefully QPR at home will be similar for you, if needed.

@coady, the 90% condition rule has always served me well and I kicked myself for disregarding it when selecting the team to play Blackburn.

Resting players from training isn't something I tend to do, to be honest. Primarily because I never remember. I think I've done it twice in the run-in, both times because  a journalist asked if I was going to give the players a day's rest in the Post-match Press Conference and I thought: that's a good idea!

I'm thinking of utilising it more in the future as I gave the 18 against  Blackburn a  day off because there were so many tired players and they bounced back impressively against Bolton.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 15 April 2019

CARSON OUT FOR THE SEASON

RamsFanzine understands that Derby County first-choice goalkeeper Scott Carson has broken down in training with a strained hamstring. Head Physio, Robin Sadler, is believed to have advised manager Stuniverse that Carson will be out for 3-4 weeks, effectively ruling him out for the rest of the season.

Should Derby County fail to secure automatic promotion, Carson could be back in time for the playoffs.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 17 April 2019

PROMOTION RACE HEADS TO THE WIRE

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Leeds United v Aston Villa on Friday 26 April!

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 17 April 2019

HAS HUDDLESTONE PLAYED HIS LAST GAME FOR DERBY?

RamsFanzine understand that Tom Huddlestone has twisted his ankle in training and is likely to miss the remainder of the season, although he could be fit again in time for the playoffs should Derby County fail to secure automatic promotion.

With Huddlestone being out of contract in the summer, and Director of Football Igor Stimac showing no signs of activating the club's one year contract extension clause, Derby County fans will be wondering if they've seen the last of their Academy graduate (now in his second spell with Derby) in a Rams shirt.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Friday 19 April 2019 (Good Friday)

Pre-match v Birmingham City (a) - Championship (43)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: Birmingham City appointed Martin O'Neill as manager earlier this week with the Blues on a poor run of form having not won in their last 10 matches. What are you expecting from them today?

Stuniverse: I'm sure the Birmingham players will want to impress their new boss, but Martin has had very little time to work with them. To be fair, I'm more interested in how my players do. We've prepared thoroughly, trained hard, and are confident of getting the result we know we're capable of.

RamsFanzine: With your vastly superior goal difference on Aston Villa, a win at St. Andrews as good as guarantees you promotion to the Premier League, and if you better Villa's result today you will be up. Can you give your fans an early Easter present?

Stuniverse: That's our aim. We had a very positive and constructive team meeting yesterday and we'll be doing everything we can to win this match.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: Just the one enforced change today.

Stuniverse: Yes. Kelle Roos comes in for Scott Carson (hamstring). Our injury list is growing - Scott Malone (knee cap), Semi Ajayi (groin), Scott Carsoin (hamstring), Tom Huddlestone (ankle) and Andy King (hamstring). 

RamsFanzine: Good luck today. I hope I can congratulate you on your promotion after the final whistle.

Stuniverse: Thank you.

Post-match: Birmingham City (1) 3-4 (4) Derby County

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RamsFanzine: Congratulations. I can tell by the big grin on your face that you know this already but Leeds drew with Wigan, Bolton beat Villa, and Derby County are promoted to the Premier League. Many, many congratulations.

Stuniverse: Thank you. It's an unbelievable feeling. At the start of the season we were aiming for the playoffs. Going up automatically is absolutely amazing. All the credit should go to my players. They've worked so hard and have been phenomenal this season.

RamsFanzine: 4-1 up at half-time, I bet you didn't expect to be hanging on at the end?

Stuniverse: No. But that's football. Robert Mak scored in the first five minutes. Tom Lawrence made it two inside 10 minutes. Jack Marriott with a penalty and Mason Mount had us 4-1 up after 35 minutes. Losing Andre Wisdom after 25 minutes didn't help but you have to give credit to Birmingham City for keeping going and they made it a very nervous end to the match for us.

RamsFanzine: What's the news on Wisdom?

Stuniverse: It looks like Andre's pulled knee ligaments so that's his season over.

RamsFanzine: Congratulations, again.

Stuniverse: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Happy Easter.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 20 April 2019

DERBY COUNTY PROMOTED

RamsFanzine: Following Derby County's 4-3 victory at Birmingham City, the Rams have been promoted to the Premier League.

Derby County last played in the Premier League during the 2007/08 season when the Rams suffered the ignominy of finishing bottom of the league with a record low 11 points.

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INITIAL BUDGETS

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football, Igor Stimac, now knows what he'll have to work with financially after the Rams Board confirmed the initial budgets for next season: -

  • Wage budget: £675K per week
  • Transfer budget: £39.72M.

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Current Finances

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That's a very tight budget for the Premier League! I've got a sneaky feeling you and Igor may fall out over the summer business.

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54 minutes ago, coady said:

That's a very tight budget for the Premier League! I've got a sneaky feeling you and Igor may fall out over the summer business.

Which may then lead to me getting sacked...

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Monday 22 April 2019 (Easter Monday)

Pre-match v Q.P.R. (H) - Championship (44)

Match Preview

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RamsFanzine: You have a four point lead on Leeds with three matches to go. Leeds (2nd) are away to Bentford today (13th). If results go your way, you could be crowned Champions later on today.

Stuniverse: Yes. We've had an unbelievable season and it would be a well deserved reward for all the hard work the players have put in, but we'll only be Champions if the players continue to work hard and play how we know they can.

Team Selection

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RamsFanzine: You've only had three days since you clinched promotion at Birmingham. Is that why you've made five changes today?

Stuniverse: Absolutely. Andre Wisdom pulled knee ligaments and Jayden Bogle comes in for him. Max Bird replaces Bradley Johnson, George Evans for Mason Mount, Martyn Waghorn for Harry Wilson and Louie Sibley for Tom Lawrence. Q.P.R. also played on Friday and I think sharpness could be the difference. We have a squad and it's on days like this when we need to use it.

Post-match: Derby County (1) 3-3 (1) Q.P.R.

RamsFanzine: How disappointing was it to have to play all but a minute of the second half with 10 men?

Stuniverse: Well it made things a lot harder for us, that's for sure. I thought both George Evans's yellow cards were soft - sometimes they're given, sometimes they're not - but George should've known better than to make a challenge like that when already on a yellow.

I thought we started well and deserved our early penalty. Their goalkeeper saved Jack Marriott's spot kick but we seemed to lose confidence after that. Martyn Waghorn gave us the lead, but they equalised before the break.

I was pleased with our response to the sending off and for 20 odd minutes you wouldn't have known we were a man down. Jack Mariott put us 2-1 up and Mason Bennett made it 3-1. To be fair to Q.P.R. they kept going all match and gave everything. Caretaker manager Chris Ramsey, and his staff, got the message out to their players that a draw would keep them up and they stepped it up. We probably had tired legs but take nothing away from Q.P.R. because they hit us late and scored two goals to make sure they avoided relegation. Fair play to them.

Ch44_H_qpr_top7.thumb.png.9fa05f24d46b0b4bd4bea431e329f335.png

RamsFanzine: Leeds will join you in the Premier League next season after winning 3-1 at Brentford. Leeds are only two points behind you. With two matches remaining, is the Championship title race going down to the wire?

Stuniverse: It may well do. I think Leeds play Villa on Friday so we'll know what they've done before we play at Bristol City the following day.

Ch44_H_qpr_report.thumb.png.c085fc4410d40f55c2c50546587d4eac.png

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Ch44_H_qpr_analysis.thumb.png.6134a474fd84f793e3bf7d3480b970f3.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 23 April 2019

BOGLE FUTURE IN DOUBT

RamsFanzine understand that young Rams right-back Jayden Bogle has rejected Derby County's offer of a new contract . The unsuccessful negotiations were handled by Director of Football Igor Stimac.

Although under contract until the summer of 2022, this raises doubts over Bogle's long-term Derby County future.

23042019_bogle_rejects_contract.thumb.png.e3689ee345d722fe9b740a4be53cec18.png

23042019_bogle.thumb.png.6c63f120a864e860dd35675b4452c0e0.png

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Saturday 27 April

Pre-match v Bristol City (a) - Championship (45)

Match Preview

Ch45_a_BristolC_preview.thumb.png.0f0ac91d73bd35ec86495cabc55b6a60.png

RamsFanzine: Leeds drew 0-0 with Villa last night, leaving them one point behind you. Can you get the win you need today to be crowned Champions?

Stuniverse: It would be a fantastic achievement for this squad of players and one they thoroughly deserve. We're confident and I believe they can do it.

Team Selection

Ch45_a_BristolC_selection.thumb.png.a1af3eaa1b8c7e214894c89880cce00a.png

RamsFanzine: Four changes today.

Stuniverse: One's forced with Mason Mount coming in for suspended George Evans. Harry Wilson returns in place of Martyn Waghorn, Tom Lawrence for Louie Sibley and Bradley Johnson for Max Bird. 

Post-match: Bristol City (1) 3-2 (0) Derby County

RamsFanzine: From 3-0 down you almost rescued a point. How disappointed are you?

Stuniverse: I'm disappointed we didn't get anything out of the match because I thought our performance deserved at least a point. We had more possession than them, more attempts at goal, and worked their keeper more. Unfortunately, we weren't as clinical in front of goal as they were and that's what cost us. Andreas Weimann and, particularly, Famara Diedhiou took their chances very well. We missed too many or had tame efforts.

RamsFanzine: You threw the kitchen sink at them in the closing minutes and almost salvaged a draw. Would you agree it was too little too late?

Stuniverse: Yes, as it turned out. We pride ourselves on our fitness and stamina and I think that showed today as they noticeably tired towards the end. Harry Wilson pulled one back late on, Duane Holmes added a second deep into added on time and, even then, Harry had a good chance to level it up at the death, but it just wasn't to be.

Ch45_a_BristolC_top7.thumb.png.3c11f1d796a51e9be358d803baeccf8a.png

RamsFanzine: The Championship title will be decided on the last day of the season. You have a one point advantage and are home to West Brom (5th), who have already qualified for the playoffs. Leeds are away to Ipswich (8th), who can claim a playoff place with a win, if other results go their way. Are you confident of being crowned Champions?

Stuniverse: It would be a fitting end to the season and that's what we'll be working towards this week.

Ch45_a_BristolC_report.thumb.png.2dbd50562645504f044cf08f9aabe780.png

Ch45_a_BristolC_stats.thumb.png.531e2587ef8188c2b1a8c842e7694083.png

Ch45_a_BristolC_analysis.thumb.png.b84b32a8bb17d21594797e5bb50bf93f.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 30 April 2019

WILSON EXTENDS CONTRACT UNTIL SUMMER 2022

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac announced today that 18-year old Tyree Wilson has signed a new contract keeping him a Ram until 30 June 2022.

Wilson is currently on loan with Chelmsford City in the Vanarama National League South where Wilson has made 47 appearances without scoring, with three assists and an average rating of 6.78.

30042019_TWilson_contract.thumb.png.f0fe92b0c9207cbf13e2590285cdc3fc.png

30042019_TWilson.thumb.png.ad2fac53353bf8b1f029e4008f09b47e.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 3 May 2019

ELSNIK EXTENDS DERBY CONTRACT BY TWO YEARS

RamsFanzine: 21-year old Timi Max Elsnik has extended his Derby County contract until the summer of 2021 according to Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac.

Elsnik, who was out of contract at the end of the season, is currently on loan with League Two Northampton Town where the Slovenian has made 29 appearances, scoring two goals, with 10 assists, and an average rating of 6.87.

0305201_Elsnik_contract.thumb.png.8b05f284def11366b627d6ee604e3e97.png

0305201_Elsnik.thumb.png.4cfa71a6f2ff061b843db11dbc26d9b5.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 4 May 2019

ROOS REWARDED WITH NEW CONTRACT

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac has announced a new contract for 26-year old goalkeeper Kelle Roos until the summer of 2022.

For Roos, who was out of contract this summer, it's a well-deserved reward for his breakthrough season at Derby County where he's made 10 starts, keeping three clean sheets, conceding 16 goals, with an average rating of 6.95.

04052019_Roos_contract.thumb.png.fdf42505c651b686c3a165f6aec91b35.png

04052019_Roos.thumb.png.85f72039293b339310c08c6bfc1b5f4d.png

 

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: Sunday 5 April 2019

Pre-match v West Bromwich Albion (H) - Championship (46)

Match Preview

Ch46_H_wba_preview.thumb.png.9d54da6534aa47d536de109f8dea43ea.png

RamsFanzine: Last match of the season and you can win the title if you beat West Brom (5th) or if you equal Leeds's result away at Ipswich (8th). Can you do it?

Stuniverse: We hope so. We've been working on what we need to do all week and now the players have 90 minutes to make themselves Champions. These players have been brilliant all season, they've worked incredibly hard, and I have confidence in them to do the job.

Team Selection

Ch46_H_wba_selection.thumb.png.3d78376ab27163d00d80c4dcbb5806b3.png

RamsFanzine: How's the injury situation?

Stuniverse: The injury list is getting longer, sadly. Scott Malone's fit enough to go on the bench, but we're missing Scott Carson (hamstring), Andre Wisdom (knee), Andy King (hamstring), Tom Huddlestone (ankle), Harry Wilson (hamstring) and Mason Bennett (calf). Richard Keogh gave us a scare midweek when he hurt his knee in training, but he's passed a fitness test and plays. Max Bird picked up a thigh injury in training but he's fit enough to make the bench.

RamsFanzine: All the best out there. Good luck.

Stuniverse: Thank you.

Post-match: Derby County (0) 1-4 (3) West Bromwich Albion

RamsFanzine: Congratulations. Derby County have won the Championship. You're champions!

Ch46_H_wba_top7.thumb.png.50946f869fd516c47802614ad737fe99.png

Stuniverse: Thank you. And I know we deserve it, (even though we didn't play like Champions today), because the league table doesn't lie. After 46 matches you are where you deserve to be.

RamsFanzine: What went wrong today?

Stuniverse: Another day where we didn't have our shooting boots on and Sam Johnstone in their goal was outstanding. We had 27 shots to their 11, 13 on target to their six, and it took something special from Louie Sibley in the 90th minute for us to score.

RamsFanzine: As well as winning the league title, you've also been the Championship's entertainers. 115 league goals scored, 28 more than anybody else, but you also conceded 70, only Bolton, Millwall, QPR and Rotherham conceded more. What do you put that down to?

Stuniverse: We set ourselves up to attack and take the game to the opposition. This season it's worked to the extent we've won the Championship, but it does leave us more open at the back than I'd like and, yes, we've conceded too many goals. For next season we'll need to find a better balance between attack and defence otherwise the Premier League sides will have a field day against us.

RamsFanzine: It's the end of the season though and you're Champions. Congratulations, again.

Stuniverse: Thank you very much.

Ch46_H_wba_report.thumb.png.54cd2fe4a54efa278a51e672826ce517.png

Ch46_H_wba_stats.thumb.png.3317952326c7fafb79750aa2177a3f5e.png

Ch46_H_wba_analysis.thumb.png.9b7246c369d89857346e5b8ddd4f0e5d.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Championship 2018/19 Season

DERBY COUNTY CROWNED CHAMPIONS... ON GOAL DIFFERENCE

Ch46_H_wba_CHAMPIONS.thumb.png.49f98f5f53f371fcfff668c68af23682.png

Ch46_H_wba_lgetable.thumb.png.599c816af6b54cb0611cb6354fdfd1b7.png

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Posted (edited)
On 08/04/2019 at 12:31, coady said:

I'll stick my neck on the line and say Villa won't get another 9 points, so you'll be up even with that total. That Blackburn game was a very strange one though!

Your neck is safe, @coady. When you made that bold statement Derby County had 88 points, Leeds 86 and Aston Villa had 79.

Derby and Leeds finished the season on 92 points and Aston Villa ended up in 3rd place with 86.

We stumbled over the line and won the title on goal difference by one goal!

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

@Stuniverse Congrats on a hell of a season! You may have stumbled across the finish line but it's not how get there it's the fact that you got there. Can't wait to to see what magic Igor has in store for the summer transfer market.

Edited by JaytheGreat

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, JaytheGreat said:

@Stuniverse Congrats on a hell of a season! You may have stumbled across the finish line but it's not how get there it's the fact that you got there. Can't wait to to see what magic Igor has in store for the summer transfer market.

Thank you, @JaytheGreat.

On the last day we were 3-0 down at half-time and it was Ipswich 0-0 Leeds. Leeds scored on 57 minutes to go Top by two points, and I think we were 4-0 down at home by then. Ipswich equalised on 65 minutes and we were Top again on goals scored as the goal difference was tied. I had current scores up and kept expecting Leeds to score again, but they didn’t. Or us to concede another.

Sibley hit a screamer on 90 minutes and we had the better goal difference by a single goal. The final whistle blew, the players celebrated on that podium thing with ticker tape flying around, and I knew we were Champions. It was that close: one goal.

Our form deserted us at the wrong time of the season but we did enough over the season as a whole to win it. I think the injuries during the run-in hurt us in that respect - there were a lot of niggly ones picked up in training. Maybe I should’ve given the players more rest days as @coady suggested?!? Would it have been different with Scott Carson in goal? Maybe, maybe not!?

Yes the summer will be interesting indeed. I’m going to wait until the players go on holiday and then set all the Player transfer statuses so that I can let Igor know my thoughts on them but that doesn’t guarantee he’ll act on it and, as I found with Ikechi Anya and David Nugent this season, even if I transfer list a player that doesn’t mean he’ll get sold.

I already have Harry Wilson and Mason Mount set as key players. I can add them as a transfer target for transfer (which is unrealistic, we couldn’t afford them even if parent clubs wanted to sell) but the option to add them as transfer target for loan is greyed out, presumably because they are currently on loan (with us). I’ll keep trying and hope the option becomes available when their current loans expire.

Edited by Stuniverse

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9 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Would it have been different with Scott Carson in goal? 

There's a statement that's never been said that way round before!

Congratulations though, I look forward to seeing Igor presumably frustrate you throughout the summer. :lol:

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3 hours ago, coady said:

There's a statement that's never been said that way round before!

Congratulations though, I look forward to seeing Igor presumably frustrate you throughout the summer. :lol:

Thanks for the congratulations, @coady.

We'll have to wait and see how the summer goes ... Igor hasn't got a huge amount of money to work with.

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 6 May 2019

RamsFanzine: Here are the Derby County player statistics for the Championship 2018/19 season:

  • Richard Keogh made the most appearances with 48
  • Jack Marriott scored the most goals 39
  • Mason Mount and Tom Lawrence tied for most assists with 11
  • Harry Wilson had the highest average rating with 7.51

06052019_season_player_stats.thumb.png.77c94c0435433851ed70ed253ccb9420.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 6 May 2019

RAVAS EXTENDS CONTRACT TO 2021

RamFanzine: 21-year old goalkeeper Henrich Ravas has extended his Rams contract to the summer of 2021 according to Director of Football Igor Stimac. 

Ravas has yet to make his debut for Derby County but did make the bench a number of times this season when Kelle Roos deputised for the injured Scott Carson.

06052019_ravas_contract.thumb.png.91e14abb57295983dd4bbcbadbbd08ad.png

06052019_ravas.thumb.png.1def06810fc10e6be05c84c760f937b6.png

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 8 May 2019

GORDON A RAM FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS

RamsFanzine: Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac has confirmed a new contract until the summer of 2021 for 21-year old Ram Kellan Gordon.

Gordon has enjoyed two loan spells in League Two this season:

  • Lincoln City - 10 appearances, 1 goal, 0 assists, 6.86 average rating
  • Oldham Athletoc - 15 appearances, 0 goals, 1 assist, 6.73 average ratng.

08052019_gordon_contract.thumb.png.c4ac8c320b20d5d2bd86276a2a6c044a.png

08052019_gordon.thumb.png.6b3b8a19d67bf70d485c51793a0c5a30.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: May 2019

UNDERDOGS SEIZE INITIATIVE IN PLAYOFFS

RamsFanzine: 6th placed Blackburn Rovers and 5th placed Swansea City seize the initiative with convincing home wins in the Playoff Semi-Final 1st Legs.

12052019_POSF1L.thumb.png.2e4ef7356740815014974564b1d138ae.png

12052019_LgeTab.thumb.png.90fcf9183f544cb7ef9b809a9627d406.png

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Game date: 16 May 2019

BLACKBURN OR SWANSEA PREMIER LEAGUE BOUND

RamsFanzine: 5th and 6th will meet in the Championship Playoff Final for a place in the Premier League after Blackburn Rovers and Swansea City stunned Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion respectively.

16052019_POSF2L.thumb.png.f1e67bc42370d5827a2d359ce8a46f0e.png

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 14 May 2019

LAWRENCE REAPS REWARD WITH FIVE YEAR CONTRACT

RamsFanzine: Tom Lawrence has been rewarded with a new five-year contract according to Director of Football Igor Stimac.

14052019_Lawrence_contract.thumb.png.cd7d0904656db1bfa74136fd6c2fd234.png

14052019_Lawrence.thumb.png.7d7f8cabbdb5ae0ee28ec207bf1901e7.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 May 2019

DERBY COUNTY RETAIN CATEGORY ONE YOUTH RATING

15052019_YouthCategoryOne.thumb.png.d3f524d96b356d1286961f7e1688dd53.png

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Game date: 16 May 2019

DERBY COUNTY EYE WOLVES RIGHT-BACK MATT DOHERTY

16052019_matt_doherty.thumb.png.6ad8d11a318185a6fd12f3711da60872.png

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 18 May 2019

THREE RAMS CONTRACT EXTENSIONS ACTIVATED

RamsFanzine Igor Stimac has activated one-year contract extension clauses for Alex Babos, Calum Macdonald, and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson.

18052019_3xconractexts.thumb.png.a6056a57620e3f1465e992fa8cfea70f.png

18052019_babos.thumb.png.714fa3daa2304444dc47018370c8891c.png

18052019_macdonald.thumb.png.e86ce51608a04dd3c486e8c7b5335604.png

18052019_mitchell_lawson.thumb.png.1f00b5fb9863888b445c985192992e76.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 20 May 2019

DERBY COUNTY PASS FINANCIAL FAIR PLAY - JUST!

20052019_ffp_passed.thumb.png.96fafdb6834c44b2f9c99bf9a67796cd.png

20052019_ffp_cash_inj.thumb.png.0ac98c966b630d40f840946110ed470c.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 23 May 2019

HUDDLESTONE AND KARIC SIGN FOR ANOTHER YEAR

RamsFanzine: Igor Stimac announced that Tom Huddlestone and Sven Karic have signed new one year deals with Derby County.

23052019_hudds_contract.thumb.png.a0f1769637c9e86593cc92bf4d73c7c1.png

23052019_hudds.thumb.png.b3c442687f132d9dd19526588798f6b5.png

23052019_karic_contract.thumb.png.c4487a1f8933b64d0a4ed53fa1fb83e1.png

23052019_karic.thumb.png.368a2ab649b42ac496e4e3e1eaa66015.png

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Game date: 19 May 2019

BLACKBURN BLOW SWANSEA AWAY

RamsFanzine: Blackburn Rovers blew Swansea City away 5-0 in the Championship playoff final and will join Derby County and Leeds United in the Premier League next season, replacing  Fulham, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

2052019_blackburn_promoted.thumb.png.7367e249b28651dfdefe5f64ed2b444f.png

2052019_P_table.thumb.png.6e6ae5bf880f42cab41195a1a49386ba.png

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Game date: 31 May 2019

STIMAC AND STUNIVERSE AT LOGGERHEADS

RamsFanzine understand that Derby County Director of Football Igor Stimac and manager Stuniverse have met to  discuss transfer targets and which players from the current squad should be part of next season's Premier League squad.  We're hearing on the grapevine that there was disagreement between the two on some players with Duane Holmes, George Evans and Semi Ajayi being the main bones of contention.

3152019_Igor_transfer_listing.thumb.png.e07e9dae5324e48eb590a3f48ce7514c.png

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 1 June 2019

TOP GOAL SCORER GETS NEW FOUR YEAR CONTRACT

RamsFanzine: Jack Marriott's record breaking goal scoring season has been rewarded with a new contract that keeps him at Derby County until the summer of 2023. Marriott scored 39 goals this season, 38 of them in the Championship.

01012019_marriott_contract.thumb.png.7d3bc14f04f064fe8b82124d4235fcf7.png

01012019_marriott_lge_top.thumb.png.0f737d4cb846f1584be6982d2eeb1f7a.png

01012019_marriott_record_goals.thumb.png.5dcbc0856adc95f884d05eaee9ef9b80.png

01012019_marriott.thumb.png.447bc8e9fbf8c08d074e980471ea5d2a.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Game date: 6 June 2019

Derby County's David Nugent to retire in May 2020

06062019nuge_retires.thumb.png.0a36265980258a92543e4b1e036abc14.png

06062019nuge_history.thumb.png.e565f5cee9815c5581c0d40a20b8aee9.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Looks like the summer is starting off right for Igor locking down both Marriott and Lawrence as both of them will definitely play a big role in your battle to stay up next season. 

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