PAUL Coutts wants Derby County to get a clean sheet against Burnley at the weekend as a reward for goalkeeper Frank Fielding.
The Rams No1 is yet to have a clean sheet this season, despite having little to do in any match so far, except pick the ball out of his net.
And Coutts, 24, wants to put that right, starting against the Clarets at Pride Park on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.
“Every game we’ve deserved to get something from, particularly at home where we’ve been strong — we’ve scored a lot of goals at home,” said the summer signing from Preston North End.
“We will try to get a clean sheet for Frankie (Frank Fielding) and put that right.
“It’d be nice to get a clean sheet — Frankie deserved one the other night.
“It’ll come if we keep doing the right things.”
Derby beat Charlton Athletic 3-2 on Tuesday night — but were coasting at 3-0 until Danny Green hit back with a scorcher from 35 yards.
A second goal then flew past Fielding two minutes later — and Coutts knows the Rams need to be more resilient when they come under pressure.
“I think we’ve got to hold our hands up to the guy who hit the wonder strike,” said the former Peterborough United man.
“Maybe we could’ve reacted a bit better but we did well to hold on for the three points — they threw everything they had at us.
“I thought for the first hour we were absolutely brilliant.
“We should’ve been 2-0 up in the first half and then at 3-0 the guy scored a wonder strike and we did well to grind out a result.
“They never looked like they were going to score until the guy hit it in the top corner from 35 yards.”
Coutts, who has made the right midfield position his own since arriving in the summer, has recovered fully from the flu after missing last weekend’s trip to Huddersfield Town.
“I had been ill last week and was touch and go for Saturday,” he said. “But I only trained Friday ahead of the Huddersfield game.
“I trained on Monday and felt fine and felt okay once the game got going — although I did wonder if I would do the whole 90 minutes.”
He has settled well into life at Pride Park and, despite wanting to get more wins for the fans, is happy with his move from Preston.
“I’m really enjoying it at Derby,” said the set piece specialist.
“When I met the gaffer in the summer, he told me what it’d be like at the club and he was spot on — it’s just like he said.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it so far, but I’d like a few more wins.
“It looks like we’ll be keeping the fans entertained this season, though.”
Ward admits to missing a trick in Charlton victory
DERBY County striker Jamie Ward admitted he could have done more to end the club’s long wait for league hat-trick.
The 25-year-old striker grabbed a brace in Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over Charlton Athletic at Pride Park.
And he had a chance for a third late in the game — but admits to chickening out of a fierce challenge with Addicks goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
“With the one off the keeper I probably could’ve got there to be honest,” said the striker.
“But I was more concerned about not having my leg snapped in two.
“I tried but probably could’ve tried a bit harder — still, two goals is better than one.”
So, Paul Simpson’s record as the last league hat-trick scorer for the Rams — in a 6-2 win over Tranmere Rovers in April, 1996 — will continue to stand.
Ward scored a cracker to open the scoring against Charlton and then scored a penalty he himself earned before Craig Bryson netted a third.
“The first one was a good finish,” said the former Chesterfield and Sheffield United striker. “I hit it well enough and just kept the ball on target.
“Three points is what matters. It would be nice to get Frank (Fielding, goalkeeper) a clean sheet but the important thing is we got three points.
“We wanted the win, the fans wanted the win and we got it — that’s all that matters.
“It was nice for me personally to get on the scoresheet and for Craig Bryson to score.
“He gets in good positions and gets tap-ins like that. I very rarely get a tap-in!”
Ward has also called for Derby’s fans to get behind the team and help them make Pride Park a fortress.
“We need the fans to get behind us,” he said. “If they get behind us, regardless of how we perform, it’s a huge help.
“The aim is to make this place a fortress and hard for other teams to come here.”