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Derby County look to keep Fulham striker quiet

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 23, 2014

WARY ... Rams midfielder Craig Bryson (right) knows the threat posed by Fulham.

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CRAIG Bryson is hoping Derby County can keep Fulham's £11m man Ross McCormack quiet this weekend.

Bryson and McCormack are Scotland international team-mates but will be on different sides at the iPro Stadium today (3pm).

McCormack has not had the best of starts to his Fulham career since his big-money summer move from Leeds United, where he scored 29 goals last term.

The Londoners have lost their opening three Championship matches following relegation from the Premier League.

And McCormack was criticised by manager Felix Magath for a lack of fitness after being hauled off an hour into his debut at Ipswich Town.

But Bryson knows the former Cardiff City front man, linked with Derby before he joined Fulham, remains a major threat.

"I know him well," said the Rams midfielder. "He's an excellent player – and a great guy.

"It's not his fault the money Fulham have paid for him – that's not down to the player.

"But, as I say, he's an excellent player – you saw how many goals he scored for Leeds last season, so we know how dangerous he can be.

"We'll need to be on top of our game to keep him quiet."

It's not just McCormack that the Rams will need to watch out for, though, according to Bryson.

"They've got a lot of Premier League players in their team and players with international experience," he said.

"So we're under no illusions how hard it's going to be.

"In their first couple of games, I think they've got to know what the Championship is all about.

"It's such a hard league.

"They would have expected to win their first few games but they haven't done that.

"But they're an excellent side and we know we'll have to be right at it to get the three points."

Derby are back on their own turf after three successive away games – most recently the 3-2 midweek defeat at Charlton Athletic.

Fulham is the first of three home matches, with Charlton visiting in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday and Ipswich Town in the league next weekend.

"At home, we fancy ourselves against anybody," said Bryson.

"It's always nice to be at home and playing in front of your own fans.

"They've been excellent so far this season – and they travelled in their numbers again in midweek.

"They gave us good backing and it was just unfortunate we couldn't send them home with a point.

"In the Championship, when you lose a game, it's very important not to follow it up with another defeat.

"We'll be trying to do everything we can to beat Fulham."

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