Wayne Rooney has assured Derby County fans his players will not be distracted by their clash against Nottingham Forest when they face Huddersfield tomorrow night.
The Rams host their arch rivals on Friday night in one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures of the season with the Reds looking to maintain their excellent recent form.
It will be Wayne Rooney’s first clash with Forest as a manager, but he insists he and his players will not lose their focus.
Rooney said: “It (focus drifting) won’t from our point of view.
“Tomorrow (Tuesday v Huddersfield) is the most important game for us. It is a game I feel we can get three points if we do the right things and then as soon as this game is over we will focus on Notts Forest.
“Of course we would love to have fans at the stadium, especially for a local derby but at the minute we cannot do that.
“I am sure there is a lot of banter going on among the fans on social media and different platforms. For us, we just have to stay focused on Tuesday first.”
Forest also face a huge game themselves on Tuesday night when they face Rotherham United having produced another fine display at the weekend as they overcame Blackburn Rovers.
And in what is a big week for the Reds, Hughton said: “This is a big week,” he said. “It’s about making sure we put in the type of performances which can get you the results you need.
“When we were going into the Coventry and Wycombe games, you know the type of game plan you have to have and the type of effort it takes to win those games.
“Anything short of that against Rotherham and we’ll find it hard to get a result.
“They’re a good side and they’re at home, so we’ll have to be ready for that.
“We are in a better place than we were a few months ago, that’s clear.
“Before Saturday, we had played two teams in the top six, in Bournemouth and Swansea, and put in two very good performances – particularly against Swansea.
“But this league is so demanding and so unpredictable, the moment you feel you’re in a good place and you don’t put in what you’ve been putting in, you can fall flat on your face because there are too many good sides in this division.
“We have to make sure all of the things we’ve done to enable us to be on this good run, we have to continue to do.”
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