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Basketball: Ford claim will spur on Riders

DERBY STORM have some way to go before justifying the claim of their coach, Martin Ford, that they are the "best team in the championship", but his words will have pride of place in the Leicester City Riders' locker room before tonight's game.

The Leicester coach, Jim Darling, hopes the statement will inspire his players who, apart from a National Cup win over non-league Plymouth, have lost all 11 games this season.

Derby are joint top of the Northern Conference after beating Thames Valley and Brighton last weekend, prompting Ford to say: "I think the first half against Thames Valley was the best ever and not just by a Derby team, even if I look back to the Kingston of old." It will register with the former Kingston coach, Kevin Cadle: as a Sky pundit, he wrote off Derby as "no-hopers" pre-season. Ford said: "If we have a bad performance I just start the next practice with Cadle's piece."