Now we face a Rams side struggling 10 points adrift at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
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However, boss Paul Jewell has started his revolution at Pride Park with the arrivals of experienced keeper Roy Carroll, Danny Mills, Laurent Robert, Hossam Ghaly, Alan Stubbs, Emanuel Villa and Mile Sterjovski in January. Draws in their last two fixtures against Manchester City and Birmingham also suggest an improvement.
“They are definitely better than they were a month ago but the important thing is that we play at the same level,” said Gus. “We have to maintain our level, maintain or quality and desire and if we do that, I’m sure we can have a good Saturday afternoon.
“If we do that, it will also prove that we are ready to compete everywhere against everyone.
“It was difficult when Paul Jewell took over, slowly he’s brought in players and he’s building a team. The dream for them is to win every game and they have to start winning now, or it will be too late.
“We have to make sure we do our jobs and go there, play our football, try to control the game and if we do that, we will have a great chance of winning.”
Gus Poyet has stressed the importance of maintaining our recent level of performance when we face Derby County on Saturday.The big games have followed one by one in recent weeks including a two-legged semi-final against Arsenal, an FA Cup tie against Manchester United and league fixture against Chelsea.