We can cause Derby shock, says Clark

Lee Clark
Lee Clark
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Lee Clark says all the pressure is on Derby as Blackpool face the promotion chasers at Pride Park tonight (7.45pm).

Steve McClaren’s Rams are clinging to a play-off spot but have won only one of their last nine Championship fixtures.

Clark’s relegated side have gone 14 games without a win but the Pool boss insists there’s no pressure on them.

The Pool boss said: “We can try to relax and give ourselves a chance.

“Derby are a great team, with some great players, and the front four have pace to burn – Johnny Russell, Chris Martin, Darren Bent and Thomas Ince.

“They have some terrific attacking footballers, who move the ball around very, very quickly. Those options in attack make me envious but we have to try to cause an upset.”

Pool have only two more chances to avoid going through the season without an away win – they visit Cardiff on Saturday week.

But Clark is again forced to field a young side tonight, with defender Darren O’Dea likely to miss out after breaking his nose at Ipswich on Saturday.

The manager added: “We have to be right at it. It’s a short turnaround and we’re scraping around for bodies because we’re losing them by the game.

“It’s a chance for some of these youngsters to stake a claim for next season.

“We’re down to the bare bones. We’re asking young players to do a man’s job. It’s not just the physical side of playing in these Championship games – it’s the mental side too.

“I think they’re coping great and they’ve certainly got a big future at the club.

“We’ve just got to see if we can get another performance and more energy out of them at Derby.”

Should O’Dea be ruled out, Charles Dunne is likely to move into a central defensive role alongside Peter Clarke, with David Ferguson at left-back.

Clark said: “I think eventually Charles is going to end up in the middle. He’s got the attributes to be a good centre-back.

“There are not many left-sided centre-backs outside the Premier League, and he’s got pace and power. He just needs to learn the tactical side.”