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 were 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, its the Yorkshire club who progress to the next round.

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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, its going to be a tough game.

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Unfortunately for me, Im not able to take part, my back is still causing some concern although Im 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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