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Lets start again - 22/08/2003

The opening couple of games have been a wake up call for us. The improvement was there to be seen when we faced Gillingham last weekend, but we’re really looking to get a couple of results from this weekends fixtures. After a good pre-season, we were bitterly disappointed with the opening game against Stoke. To be fair, we were outplayed in every area of the pitch – defence, midfield and attack. The Carling Cup exit was also hard to take, Huddersfield gave us a good game and although it could have gone either way, it’s the Yorkshire club who progress to the next round.


The priority is the league, and we face a very tough couple of Bank Holiday fixtures, with Reading at home and Cardiff away on the Monday. Reading earned a creditable draw away to Ipswich at the start of the season and followed that up with an impressive win against Forest last weekend – we know what to expect. Cardiff, having been promoted last season will be looking to get a home win and again, it’s going to be a tough game.


Unfortunately for me, I’m not able to take part, my back is still causing some concern although I’m now confident that I should be back in eight days time. I had surgery on my shoulder during the close season and having recovered for the operation, it was a blow to go down with this back problem. Initially I thought it was a muscle injury, but now it's been diagnosed as the sciatic nerve - which affects my back and hamstring. It's respnding to treatment though and as I say, I'm not far away. I struggled last season with one or two niggles and felt I was never on top of my fitness – I want the Derby fans to see the Warren Barton who finished the last fourteen games of the Premiership season – rather than the Warren Barton of last year.

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