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Derby County out to keep it clean against Charlton Athletic

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

Lee Grant

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ANOTHER clean sheet tonight will see Derby County create a slice of club history.

The Rams head to The Valley to face Charlton Athletic (kick off 7.45pm) having shut out the opposition in all three of their matches this season.

They beat Rotherham United 1-0, Carlisle United 2-0 in the Capital One Cup and drew 0-0 against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Only once before has a Derby team not conceded in its first three games of a season.

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The last time was 41 years ago, at the start of the 1973-74 season when the Rams beat Chelsea and Manchester City 1-0 at the Baseball Ground before drawing 0-0 away to Birmingham City.

Derby lost 2-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in their fourth fixture in 1973-74 and so a fourth consecutive cleansheet from the start of the campaign for Steve McClaren's side tonight would be a first in the club's 130-years' history.

McClaren has been full of praise for Derby's defensive qualities, especially those of the back four and goalkeeper Lee Grant (pictured).

"We didn't play enough football against Wednesday on Saturday but I'll tell you something, we dug in and we defended magnificently. Clean sheets are absolutely vital," said McClaren after Saturday's game.

Derby managed only one clean sheet in their final 10 matches of last seson, including the play-off final at Wembley where they lost 1-0 to Queen's Park Rangers.

In total, the Rams managed 13 clean sheets in 46 league games.

Leicester City and Burnley, the sides to win automatic promotion, kept 18 and 19 respectively.

QPR, play-off final winners, kept 17.

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