DERBY County manager Nigel Clough admits to being frustrated at not having more points on the board, even at this early stage of the Championship campaign.
Clough has praised the attitude and determination of his players in the opening weeks of the season.
The Rams have collected four points from nine. They drew with Blackburn Rovers, won at Brighton and lost at home to Leicester City last Saturday.
“I hope we’re not going to be looking at the table every month or so saying we should have a few more points,” said Clough ahead of tomorrow’s game against Yeovil Town at Huish Park, kick-off 3pm.
“Already there should be another three points on our total and we should be in the top six.
“We’re encouraged with everything in the last few months, just frustrated we have only got four points because I think we’ve played well in all the games.
“We have tried to knock it around.
“Possession-wise against Leicester was our best of the season.
“Everybody was drooling about our performance in the win at Brighton, and rightly so, but we had 30 or 40 per cent more passes, more efforts on goal, more crosses, more everything in the Leicester game and yet we lost 1-0. That is the nature of the Championship.
“The first-class attitude of the players right from pre-season has continued and the determination is there.”
Clough also says the number of players hammering on the door for a place in the team at Yeovil tomorrow is a clear sign of increased competition for places.
The Rams have been unchanged for the past two games against Brighton and Leicester City.
This has seen last season’s top scorer Jamie Ward named among the substitutes along with Conor Sammon and John Eustace, but manager Nigel Clough has hinted that all three are pushing hard for a start.
“Jamie would have started against Leicester last Saturday but for playing 90 minutes for Northern Ireland a few days before. He is right in there with a shout for Saturday,” said Clough.
“We are happy with the competition in the squad, at the moment. Conor Sammon typifies it, he is busting a gut to get on the pitch.
“John Eustace is another who is fighting for a place. He has had a great week’s training and he is never far from our thoughts.”
Chris Martin and Johnny Russell, both summer signings, are the first-choice strike force. Sammon has featured in three of the four games this season although his only start came in the victory at Oldham in the Capital One Cup. The Republic of Ireland international made 43 starts last season.
Eustace also started at Oldham and has made two appearances as a substitute in the Championship.
Apart from long-term absentees Shaun Barker and Mark O’Brien, Derby have a clean bill of health ahead of the clash with newly-promoted Yeovil at Huish Park (3pm) which will be the first competitive meeting between the clubs.
“You read about players at other clubs being out four to six weeks with hamstring and knee problems, but we are still intact after a few games which is great,” said Clough.
Asked if is looking to strengthen the squad before the transfer window closes on September 2, Clough replied: “Not especially, at the moment.
“We have still got our eye on one or two, but if we keep the squad intact we will keep a couple of loans up our sleeve for as and when we need them.”
Clough said resources are available to him should he want to strengthen the squad.
“We are still trying to get the three lads out and fixed up - Jimmy O’Connor, Nathan Tyson and James Bailey. If they could go, it would certainly make things a but easier,” Clough added.
“There have been a couple of enquiries for Nathan and James, but just enquiries at this point.