TSS welcomes Ryan to the team who will be running the ‘Interview with an away fan’ feature I occasionally did last season. With just two days to go before Derby County visit Elland Road for opening day, we’re joined by Derby fan, Daniel Warrick.

Ryan – Hi Daniel, after England’s dismal display at the World Cup I bet you’re as eager for me for the new football season to get underway. Every Leeds fan I know can’t wait for it to start, how do you think both teams will fare?

Daniel - I think for Leeds the aim should be more than just surviving in the league this season but this should be a starting point and be used to build on and see where you end up.  A large amount of your points will come from your home games with a passionate home crowd behind you but hopefully gaining confidence and momentum you can use this to pick up valuable points on the road too.

For Derby we’ve got to be looking to build on last seasons 14th place finish and probably aim for the play offs but I expect us to finish somewhere between 7th and 10th with a major promotion push next season.  I believe Leeds will end up in midtable, however I could quite easily see you going on a run late on and making a charge for the play-offs although this could be a season too soon for you.

Ryan - How is the mood amongst Derby fans going into this game. Confident you’re going to turn over the Championships new boys? Or fearing the worst at a packed Elland Road?

Daniel – The general feeling amongst Derby fans is excitement for a brilliant opening game but also fearful of a packed Elland Road with the place and the players bouncing.  As long as we don’t concede an early goal we believe we have enough quality to take something from the game but in some ways you’ve got to wonder if the script is written for a Leeds convincing win.  One thing in Derby’s favour is that all the focus will be on Leeds which may enable us to go about our business and get a result but it’ll be a real test of character for our players.

Familiar face - Rob Hulse

Ryan - Who should we be looking out for in your team? We are all familiar with Rob Hulse at Elland Road but are there any exciting youngsters or new signings we should be keeping an eye on?

Daniel - Obviously you know all about Rob Hulse who is a proven goal scorer at this level and higher.  Kris Commons has had a good pre season and can always produce something out of nothing so he’ll be one to watch.  We’ve also signed a couple of bright young players from Crewe – right back John Brayford who’s looking good so far and likes to get forward and James Bailey a central midfielder who looks comfortable on the ball and is being touted as a replacement for Robbie Savage when he retires.  We’re playing a new formation as of this pre season which seems to be working so far and accommodates the important players in our team better so we should be attractive to watch.

Ryan - During the summer we signed your former captain Paul Connolly. What can he bring to our team? Will he be missed at Pride Park or were you glad to see him go?

Daniel - Paul is a reliable and solid defender who likes to get forward when he can.  He’s an experienced head at this level which will benefit your younger or less experienced players.  You’ll always get 100% from him and he’ll very rarely let you down.  I don’t think he’ll be missed at Pride Park. However he did captain us during our high moments in recent years and was always Mr Consistent.  I think he divided opinion but most fans respected him and agreed it was probably time he moved on.

Ryan - We understand that there is a bit of hatred for us from your lot as there seems to be with most other teams. Is Leeds a fixture that stands out for Derby fans? Do you look forward to coming to Elland Road?

Daniel - I know that Leeds is up there with the teams we look forward to playing like local rivals Nottingham Forest and Leicester City.  There is a big rivalry between the clubs fans  and the Derby fans certainly enjoy coming to Elland Road.  I think it’s fair to say there’s no love lost between the two!  Also for the fans it’s a chance to come to a fantastic ground with a fantastic atmosphere and tradition and enjoy a great game of football – the rivalry is a great bonus!

Ryan - As you will know, the game kicks off at 5.15pm due to live BBC coverage. Do you think this will affect the attendance of travelling Derby fans, and how do Derby usually fair in front of the cameras?

Daniel - Derby fans are extremely loyal and always follow their team no matter how close or far the games are.  Even if the games are on TV I think the fans feel you can’t beat actually being there yourself and we’re always well supported for TV games – another reason for this is to show the watching public what excellent fans we have.  In this way I’d say that Leeds and Derby fans are the same – both passionate and vocal and follow the club in huge numbers up and down the country.  Our recent record is pretty good in front of the cameras so fingers crossed that continues.

The infamous Brian Clough

Ryan - Nigel Clough seems like a promising young manager. Do you think he will be looking to get one over Leeds after his Dad’s infamous 44 day reign in charge at Elland Road and has he got what it takes to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a really successful manager?

Daniel - Nigel always makes the point that him and his dad are two different people and have different styles and I think the fans would agree.  He’ll always get compared to his father and the Leeds game will throw up more talk of this sort but he’ll just be focused on trying to win the game.  He’ll say it’s nothing special and just another game but inside he’ll definitely want to get one over on Leeds.  He’s a good manager with a big future ahead of him but will always get compared to his father and only time will tell how successful he can become.

Ryan - The general consensus amongst Leeds fans at the minute is that our squad is still looking a little threadbare and lacking in real quality since the departure of Jermaine Beckford. If you could sign anyone from our current squad for Derby, who would it be?

Daniel – Obviously Beckford will be a loss, he was linked with a move to Derby at one point in a previous season which would have been a good signing for us but obviously now Leeds need to replace his goals.  Jonny Howson has always impressed me when I’ve seen Leeds play so I’d sign him if we could.  Your new goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel would also be a great buy as he looks a promising young keeper.

Ryan - What’s your best memory of Derby playing Leeds? Mine would have to be Frazer Richardson’s screamer on the opening day of the 2004/05 season when we beat you 1-0 at Elland Road.

Daniel – My best memory would have to be the win for Derby 1-0 at Elland Road during our promotion season.  After many heavy defeats at Elland Road I thought that day was going to be our best chance of winning there for many years and was a chance we took.  It was an amazing feeling to win there and a massive 3 points for us and something we’d love to repeat on the opening day.

Ryan - Finally, predictions for the game? I’m going with 2-1 to Leeds.

Daniel – As long as we can keep Leeds out for the opening 20 minutes when it’ll be attack after attack and lots of noise and pressure then I believe we can take a point.  Opening day always throws up lots of goals and incident – my prediction is for an entertaining 2-2 draw and a good season for both Leeds and Derby.

Ryan - Thanks for taking part and best wishes for the rest of the season.

  • cossie(LUFC)

    I think this is a great fixture to start. Derby badly under acheived last season and should be better than their 14th place finish. It will be a good test as to how strong we will be this season, if we are going to have a comfortable mid table season then we should be beating Derby, if we lose it might be a season of looking over our shoulders and if we beat them easily then we might be pushing the play-offs. I know it is only the first game but I am very excited for the first time in a few years!

  • Tim the White

    After three miserable years in League 1 how great is it to look at the fixture list for this season! I firmly believe that Ken Bates and Simon Grayson have decided to go for it this season and I feel all the signings have been good. If we can get 7 points from the first three games and then see missing players back in the frame, we are on our way. Look out for some more great loan signings – I am thrilled to see Sanchez Watt back. No other team in the division has done as much pre-season business as Leeds. I think we may well be on a rollercoaster from Saturday.

  • Christopher Gee

    Difficult to call this. If we underperform we’ll probably take comfort from the fact that several key players (Snodgrass, Paynter, Gradel, Kisnorbo etc) are unavailable and we’re still getting used to our new surroundings. Living in Derbyshire I can say that for many County fans the jury is still out on young Nigel and he could be looking for work if his team doesn’t put in a credible performance this season. Should be a cracking match on Saturday with a chance for Leeds fans to play the ‘spot the new player’ game. Couldn’t work out from the interview whether Robbie Savage will put in an appearance as pantomime villain. Either way, no excuse for watching this one on TV…

  • For me I’m very disappointed that we are starting the new season with no proven goalscorer…all these kids, freebies and loan men don’t cut it for me….where is Beckfords’ replacement?

    • Tim Wilsom

      Nothing like the sound of vinyl, scratches an all

  • Mark R

    A good opener, lost of history betwwn the clubs, a pantomime villain in Robbie Savage, and a lot of fan expectation.
    I think it’ll be close but we’ll win.

    MOT

  • Ryan Parrish

    Cant wait for Saturday myself, Im feeling a bit more optimistic after the performance against Wolves. I think we have a good enough squad to challenge in the top half at least. Should be a great atmosphere & I’m quite confident we’ll get the 3 points! MOT

  • Phil

    As a Derby season ticket holder I am really looking foward to this. My Girlfriend and her son are Leeds season ticket holders. We are making our own separate ways to the ground on Saturday (ha ha – and our own way back!!) Yes there is history between the two clubs. But hey they ruled football in the 70’s. Both have ambition top be in the premier league again, both in the Championship on merit!!! As our cherished Brian once said, the worst 92 football hooligans are the Chairmen (or something like that) But for two idoits it woud be Derby OR Leeds who lifted those European cups not F***st. Having been to Elland Road a few times I kinda get the Leeds thing….so good luck for the season…..and whatever the score on Saturday….please do us a favour the following week….We ain’t keen on them either……WE ARE DERBY!!!!!

    • Colin

      @Phil
      I’m interested to know whether the local media are behind Derby or whether there’s still a bit of bad blood between the club and the media? I remember the infamous outburst from Savage towards Radio Derby and it seemed that a lot of the media thought that Derby should be performing a lot better than they were.

      Is this all resolved now or do you think they’ll get on the teams back if performances aren’t too great at the start of the season??

      • Daniel Warwick

        I think any differences between the club and Radio Derby are now behind them – from what I’ve heard Robbies fine with the station now and both he and the local radio enjoy the banter. The game is all about opinions and on several occasions Robbie Savage disagreed with the local media but it wouldn’t be happening if Derby were playing well and nearer the top of the league. Hopefully everyone will pull in the same direction but Radio Derby will only report what they see, if the team are playing badly then theyll report that whether it upsets Savage or anyone at the club. Fingers crossed we won’t have any disagreements this season!

        • TSS

          Hi Daniel,

          Firstly, many thanks for taking part in our first away fan interview this season, you and @ryanlufc did a great job.

          Always enjoyed Leeds v Derby games as someone lucky enough to have seen a few – both home and away – and it’s an excellent fixture to start the season on. As for Robbie Savage, he’s a bit of a marmite character for me, except I like him one minute and find him amusing then hate him the next.

          Needless to say, I’ll hate both him and anyone else in a Derby shirt come Saturday! :)

          Best wishes for the season ahead.

        • Colin

          @Daniel Warwick
          Thanks for the info. Personally, I think it will be a struggle for both teams this season. Hopefully both teams can get stronger to put a real fight together towards getting into the PL where both these teams belong.

  • richard

    Thank god its on tv, im on me jols in Cornwall, still gutted not to be at ER but beggars cant be choosers.

  • Craig

    My memory of a Derby game was having a ticket in the Leeds end (when you didn’t need to be a member) and being escorted by police after the game to the train station even though I had driven from Nottingham where I was at University and parked near the ground! It took me ages to find my car afterwards.

  • Jamie

    Love the fact that Daniel thinks that Derby’s level of hatred is returned by Leeds fans! I think alot of fans of other clubs fail to see that their rivalry with us is one sided because we’re not the most hospitable bunch to anybody.