Steve McClaren, the Derby County manager, is interested to discover tonight against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup how far his side has progressed since being knocked out by Jose Mourinho’s team in the FA Cup in January. “I want to see how our players perform – have we moved on from a year ago? Because Chelsea have,” he said.
Derby, third in the Championship after losing 2-0 at Middlesbrough on Saturday, face the Premier League leaders at the iPro Stadium tonight – a rematch of the FA Cup third-round tie last season, which Chelsea won 2-0. The Hull City manager, Steve Bruce, insisted Mourinho’s side have no flaws before their 2-0 defeat on Saturday and McClaren has also failed to find any.
“At the moment they are the strongest. I can’t see a weakness, we tried to find one and it lasted about five seconds,” he said. “We have to be at our very best, very, very best to come even close. We want to do that and we are capable of doing that.
“They are the best team in the Premier League and in Europe. They have only lost one game and only lost it because they ran out of time [against Newcastle]. We have to perform at our best to stay in the game and have a chance of achieving our dream result. But they will have to be at their best. Mourinho will respect us and appreciate that. We don’t expect any favours.”
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