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Simpson: Derby County can learn so much in Austria

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 17, 2014

By Chris Watson

Rams coach Paul Simpson and manager Steve McClaren

Rams coach Paul Simpson and manager Steve McClaren

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DERBY County's pre-season trip to Austria will provide a vital learning exercise both for the players and backroom staff, says coach Paul Simpson.

The Rams fly out for a six-day training camp on Sunday, following Saturday's friendly at Notts County, as they step up their preparations ahead of the 2014-15 Championship campaign.

During their stay, Steve McClaren's men will take on Russian side Zenit St Petersburg and Slavija Sarajevo from Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"We wanted to get all the players together more than anything," said Simpson (pictured).

"Pre-season is a really important time for your preparation.

"We wanted to get the players on a camp where we can see what they're doing 24 hours a day and work them as much as we want to.

"It might be a case of three sessions a day when we don't have a game.

"We're going to get the spirit together and you learn so much about players when you're with them all day long – and they learn more about us as well.

"So it's going to be interesting from that side of things."

Since reporting back for training following last season's play-off final disappointment, Derby have so far come up against Matlock, Ilkeston, Nuneaton and Northampton Town.

They are due to face Zenit, managed by former Spurs and Chelsea boss Andre Villas Boas, at SC Kalsdorf's Stadium, Sports Zentrum Kalsdorf, on Tuesday, kick-off 6pm (5pm UK time).

Slavija will then provide the opposition three days later, on the Friday, at a venue yet to be confirmed.

"We wanted to test ourselves against some different types of teams," Simpson added.

"The first game against Zenit will be tough for us. The second game will also be a good test against European opposition. It's all part of the plan to try to do something different."

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