Derby County by Matt Jones
- Derby County aim to bounce back from their play-off disappointment this season with a lot of pressure sure to be on 25 goal striker Chris Martin. Although Craig Bryson chipped in with a huge amount of goals from midfield, if Martin was to become unavailable it would leave the Rams lacking a lot of fire-power. The free transfer from Norwich will need to continue his imperious form to help Derby go one better than last season.
- Last season’s 3rd place finish was the highest the Rams have managed since their relegation to the Championship in 2008. Nigel Clough managed to steady the ship after relegation and Steve McLaren took on the mantle and transformed Derby into a promotion chasing team again. McLaren has a win percentage of 60% over his time at Pride Park. Something along those lines next season will see Derby become a Premier League team once again.
- Derby have to date sold in excess of 20,000 season tickets for the forthcoming campaign. This again is the highest number since their ill-fated Premier League season of 2007/08 when the club sold out the maximum available 23,500 season tickets. This number is rising all the time as the fans sense something special brewing under the stewardship of McLaren alongside Sam Rush and John Vicars.
- The signing of George Thorne in the transfer window goes to show the level of ambition shown by Derby in recent times. He joins Derby on a 4-year deal for a fee believed to be around the £3m mark. This makes him Derby’s joint second most expensive signing in their history, behind only Lee Morris and Robert Earnshaw. Derby fans will certainly be hoping his Derby career is more successful than the aforementioned duo. Unfortunately Throne ruptured his ACL in his first pre-season friendly for the Rams and is set to miss most if not all of the 2014/15 season.