Saturday 30 August ~
In his post-match interviews this season, Paul Jewell has taken to resembling a guest at the end of a wedding reception, tie askew and perspiring heavily. This may be explained by his having done an inordinate amount of shouting and gesticulating over the preceding 90 minutes given that his side have lost both their home matches so far, their only point coming in a 1-1 draw at Bristol City. Jewell was said to be “a week away from the sack” in last weekend's papers so a midweek win at Preston in the Carling Cup will have provided some respite. But Derby are still yet to win a League game under Jewell whose winless run since he replaced Billy Davies now stands at 30 League matches. On the face of it there could be no better time to play Barnsley who are the only Championship club without a point so far.
Jewell tried something of an unorthodox motivational ruse against Preston by selecting the team’s captain out of a hat. As that was one of the few things that have gone right for the team lately, who knows what he may be planning for the trip to Oakwell. Derby travel without striker Tyrone Mears who, much to his manager’s dismay, sneaked away from training to join Marseille but Jewell is likely to retain Miles Addison who impressed on his debut against Preston: “When he tackles you, you stay tackled but he doesn’t kick people,” said his manager.
Barnsley will be without midfielder Gary Teale who is on loan from Derby but hope to give a debut to Argentine midfielder Hugo Colace - he was signed back in June but had not been cleared to play pending paperwork from his previous club, Newell’s Old Boys. With the recent addition of Dutch loanee Maceo Righters from Blackburn, Simon Davey would be able to field an entire team of overseas players, although most of the imports are only on the fringes of the team. Last season’s giantkillers have already been on the end of a cup upset themselves in losing at Crewe in the Carling Cup. But reports suggest they were unfortunate to lose at home in the League to Coventry, while their two away defeats have been against the favourites for promotion, QPR and Birmingham. A home win today might send Derby to the foot of the table but Jewell has a very good record in this division and you sense that a first victory would work wonders. In any case, his chairman insists that his job is safe. But then they all say that.