Crunch bank holiday clash at Deepdale

Both Preston North End and Derby endured a Good Friday they would rather forget.

Sunday, 1st April 2018, 4:00 pm
Derby striker Matej Vydra

A few hours after PNE had been beaten 4-1 by Sheffield Wednesday, Derby suffered the same fate at the hands of Sunderland.

If North End’s setback was a bit of a surprise, the Rams’ home defeat to Sunderland was a real shock.

Despite Derby’s recent poor form, few would have envisaged them falling apart at Pride Park to a Black Cats side who had started the day bottom of the Championship.

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So on Monday lunchtime it will be two sides looking to bounce back when they meet at Deepdale (12.45pm).

Derby’s defeat on Friday stretched their winless run to an eighth game.

That form has seen Gary Rowett’s men drop out of the reckoning for an automatic promotion place.

And just at the moment, finishing in the top six has a big question mark against it. After the Sunderland game, Rowett said: “It was an awful, awful night and the crowd didn’t deserve that.

“I had been asking them to get behind the players all week and I think they really did that, but the players didn’t deserve it. We have to take a long, hard look at ourselves and I’m not going to stand here and 
defend it.

“I’ve been coming to Pride Park for a long time as a supporter, manager and player, and I don’t think I have seen too many displays as poor as that.

“We have to improve and we have to improve fast.”

Turning his attention to the visit to Deepdale, Rowett said: “We have to do something about it, and quickly because we know that results have not been good enough to keep us in there.

“I’ll have to have a good look at the team because I have got some big decisions to make.”

Matej Vydra is expected to lead the Derby attack against PNE, the Czech striker having scored 18 goals this season.