“Been Around The Block” – Michael Skubala Reflects on Derby County Challenge

Credit Graham Burrell

Imps boss Michael Skubala has been reflecting on the challenge that Derby County will pose the Imps as we travel to Pride Park tomorrow.

The Rams are looking for their first league victory against the Imps at home since 1985, but head into the game in sixth position, with just one defeat in their last ten fixtures. They have already beaten City in the EFL Trophy at Pride Park this season, a ground City have yet to taste victory on.

The Imps head coach spoke to BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Michael Hortin before the game, and admitted the challenge was a significant one.

“We know they’re a big club,” he said.“They’ve got some real experience in their ranks who have been around the block. They’re powerful, they make you defend a lot, and I don’t think we can go there and be open and expansive because I think we’ll get hurt.

“It’s going to be a real tough test with one of Paul Warne’s sides. It’s going to be a really, really tough game for us, along with the other games that are coming thick and fast through the Christmas period.”

Bolton are the visitors to Sincil Bank on Boxing Day, with Northampton also visiting on the 29th, before Blackpool rounds off the Christmas period on New Year’s Day. It’s a tough run of fixtures from which five or six points would be a good return.

Getting those points certainly won’t be easy against the Rams, althoguh we did grab a point from our trip to Pride Park in February. Ten months later, it is Skubala’s aim, even with the strength Derby have in their side.

“They have found their form, they’ve got some real good attacking players and experience. (James) Collins up front, (Nathaniel Mendez) Lang on the wing, who’s probably one of the best players in the league for me in, in that wide area.

“Then they’ve got real good experience at the back who can move the ball. It’s a game for us to go again, but we’ll try our best and try and get some points.”

The Imps have sold more than 1,700 tickets for the game, the final away fixture of an interesting 2023. For those unable to attend, it is also available on iFollow.