Paul Warne issues Derby County warning ahead of Portsmouth clash

Derby County vs Portsmouth kicks off tonight at 8pm from Fratton Park
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It's first versus second tonight in a League One clash that could prove to be pivotal come the end of the season for both sides.

Derby make the trip to Portsmouth who are currently five points ahead of the Rams with a game in hand, so a win is needed should Paul Warne's side have a chance at catching Pompey.

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The Rams come off the back of a 1-0 win over a tricky Blackpool side on Good Friday, a win that he kept them in the automatic promotion places.

With just five games to go, every three points will go a long way to getting Derby back up into the Championship, tonight's difficult matchup with Pompey is no different.

Ahead of the game, Derby boss Paul Warne was quick to praise the Rams' opposition, speaking to Rams TV, he said: "They are top and have only lost four games this season, despite suffering a lot of injuries. They've got a good team and have found ways to win. They are one of the only teams in the top six that have convincingly done it week-in-week-out.

"It's no surprise that they've been the most consistent team and deserve their place at the top.

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"It will be a tough game against arguably the best team in the league. We'll have to be at our best."

In Derby's last match, midfielder Ebou Adams scored the winning and only goal of the game to earn all three points.

Warne was quick to shout out the Cardiff City loanee: "It was a big win," he said. "It was an amazing goal from an amazing human being in Ebou Adams, so it was pretty perfect in terms of how the day went.

"It's a mentality to be relentless and go for wins. I'm not saying it's right or wrong but if we're drawing, I'd rather risk the one point and go for three than keep the one. If you believe in your team, then the risk is worth taking."

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Tonight's game against Portsmouth will provide the Rams with a chance to close the gap on the league leaders, but more importantly, cement their position in the top two and keep an edge over their promotion rivals.