If Derby County needed any further incentive when they take on Manchester United tonight, in the Carling Cup Semi-Final first leg, then a new manager should do the trick.
Nigel Clough will be in the crowd tonight and the players will be desperate to impress ahead of his first game in charge at the weekend.
Manchester United arrive in the East Midlands with the chance still to win a further four trophies to add to the two they have already won this season! They have already collected the Charity Shield and been crowned World Champions and could still win the Carling Cup, FA Cup. Champions League and Premier League - so things couldn't be much tougher for the Rams tonight.
Clough's side go into the game in 18th place in the Championship, with just two wins in their last seven matches, the most recent coming at Forest Green Rovers, when they came from 2-0 to eventually beat the Conference side.
Manchester United on the other hand are unbeaten in their last 14 games. They currently sit in third place in the Premier League table, just seven points behind leaders Liverpool but with two games in hand.
The two sides have drawn each other just once previously in this competition, way back in 1969 at the fifth round stage. The first match at Derby ended goalless before United won the replay 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Manchester United have won the tournament twice, back in 1992 and more recently 2006, while for Derby this is the second time they have reached the Semi-Final stage, the only other time coming back in 1968, when ironically Brian Clough was in charge!
The two sides have met 100 times in all competitions, with United having won 42 and lost 29, while another 29 fixtures have ended all square.
Route to the Semi Finals
Derby's road to the Semi-Finals started in August, with a home game against Lincoln City and when Ben Wright fired the Imps ahead things didn't look good. Nathan Ellington sent the game into extra time with just seven minutes to go before scoring twice in extra time to set up a trip to Preston in the Second Round.
Paul Green's 40th minute goal was enough to win at Deepdale and a long trip to Brighton followed. Ellington was on target again but there was another hat-trick hero, Emanuel Villa scoring three in the 4-1 win. Villa and Ellington were on target against in the fourth round, seeing off Leeds United at Pride Park and Ellington was also the hero of the Quarter Final, with a last minute penalty enough to see off the challenge of Stoke City.
Just like Spurs, Manchester United only entered the competition at the third round stage, due to their involvement in European competition. First up was Middlesbrough at Old Trafford, where Ronaldo fired the Reds ahead, only for Adam Johnson to equalise. The sending off of Emanuel Pogatetz changed the game for the visitors and goals from Ryan Giggs and Nani set up a fourth round match with Queens Park Rangers.
It took a 76th minute penalty from Carlos Tevez to overcome the challenge of the Championship side but the Red Devils managed five in the Quarter-Finals as they brushed aside Blackburn Rovers. United were 2-0 up on 40 minutes thanks to goals from Tevez and Nani before Benni McCarthy gave the visitors hope, that was until Tevez scored three more to take home the match ball and give his side a 5-3 win.
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