‘Old school’ Curtis Davies can carry Derby through tough games – Gary Rowett
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Curtis Davies will battle through the pain barrier as Derby County bid to end Norwich City’s unbeaten league run.
Davies suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of the Rams’ 2-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, but completed the game – and is available again for Saturday’s clash.
Rams boss Gary Rowett believes his experienced defender’s mindset can help the team through a difficult away double - at City and then at Leeds next Tuesday.
“His shoulder seemed to pop out and then back in again,” Rowett told Rams TV. “There’s not many players that would do that and be happy to carry on, but Curtis is one of those old school players that just soldiers on through.
“We want ability, but we also want character. For me that is what will win you games against the likes of Norwich and it gets you results at places like Cardiff, when we drew 0-0 there recently.
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“If you go there only looking to play great football and you come up short, then that is going to be a problem in the Championship, because it’s that type of league.
“When the chips are down, sometimes you have to dig in. You want a little bit of everything, but character is a trait that I value very, very highly.
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“They will be two tough games and we will need to put in two good performances.
“I think these players rise to the occasion in the big games against the top teams.”
City are on an eight-match unbeaten run and Rowett agrees that, after a difficult start to the season, the August international break became a turning point for Daniel Farke.
“I think that they were very expansive in the first part of the season, but very open defensively and they conceded quite a few goals,” said Rowett.
“I think after the international break there was a marked difference in the way that they play and how they approach games, they’re good going forward and they still have excellent movement but they have those two defensive midfielders that give them that little bit of balance, just like we have.
“They’re a solid team but they’ve also got a lot of attacking threat. They played extra time in the week, I don’t know how that will affect them or if they picked up any knocks.”