Smith signed the striker at QPR fully 13 years ago before going on to manage Newcastle and Portsmouth on his on his way to Pride Park.
Unfortunately things have turned slightly sour this season and the veteran finds himself at the bottom of the Premiership, without a win so far this season and under pressure.
Big Les said: “Jim’s been in this position before and got himself out of it.
“Derby have started badly but we’re not that far into the season and if there is a man who can turn it around, Jim can. I hope he does but I hope that he doesn’t start against us on Saturday.”
Ferdinand expects Derby to come to the Lane and shut up shop. It could make for a frustrating afternoon and he insists patience could be the key.
He added: “Their season has started disastrously for them and they will be wanting to make sure they don’t lose.
“They haven’t got to please our supporters — all they’ve got to do is come here and try to get a point if they can. I’m sure that’s what they’ll try to do so it’s up to us to be patient, not panic and keep having a go.
“Every time you lose there is even more pressure to win the next game.
“So far our home record has been good this season. We haven’t done well on our travels and we know we need to improve on that but if we can maintain our home form we’re only three points away from getting back towards the tops. It’s not as disastrous as it seems.”
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Les Ferdinand is backing his old boss Jim Smith to pull Derby out of trouble — but not before he adds to his problems at the Lane on Saturday.