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Leeds United v Derby County: match preview

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

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STEVE McClaren says his Derby County team can cope with three games in nine days in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League.

Derby's final league game against Leeds United at Elland Road tomorrow, kick-off 3pm, is followed by a two-legged Championship play-off semi-final.

The first leg is on Thursday, May 8, and the second leg on Sunday, May 11.

McClaren admits picking the team to face Leeds ahead of the play-offs is his most difficult selection of the season to date.

But the head coach says he will not be resting players.

"We will manage the squad, we always do," said McClaren.

"We will try and get the balance right. There may be one or two changes. We will try not to make too many, but the bigger picture is next Thursday and Sunday.

"You have seen the energy on the training ground and in matches. We are not resting players.

"It is three games in nine days. These players have been playing three games in nine days for many weeks, so we have no fear of that.

"The players can cope."

Striker Conor Sammon is available for the squad again after the Republic of Ireland internationl missed the victory over Watford last weekend with a rib injury.

Conor Sammon has trained and come through okay," said McClaren.

"Even Couttsy [Paul Coutts] training for a bit of the session as well."

Coutts has been out for seven months after he dislocated a kneecap in the defeat by Leicester City in the Capital One Cup in September.

The midfielder is working his way back to fitness and has his sights set on impressing in pre-season ahead of next season.

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