DERBY head into today’s FA Cup encounter with Tranmere on the back of a 3-1 home win over high-riding Middlesbrough regarded by manager Nigel Clough as one of the Rams’ best displays in the Championship this season.
Clough described the 3-1 victory at Pride Park Stadium as a “remarkable result and performance”.
Michael Jacobs, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon struck before Lukas Jutkiewicz grabbed a consolation for Middlesbrough in stoppage time.
”I think we have played as well as that, if not better at times at home this season,” said Clough. “But considering the team we had out and the opposition, it is certainly up there.
”Middlesbrough had a few players missing themselves but at the start of the game we had a 17-year-old, three 20-year-olds and a 21-year-old out on the pitch.
“We were also without Craig Bryson, Jamie Ward, Gareth Roberts and Jake Buxton. Given all that, it was a remarkable result and performance.”
Derby took only one point from their previous three matches. They lost to Hull City and Burnley and drew at Charlton Athletic.
Clough praised the effort and response of his players in beating Middlesbrough. “It was a big ask physically with the Christmas trips we had,” said Clough.
The result lifted Derby to 10th in the Championship, three points away from the sixth place.