Boothroyd: Top three our destiny

BY foxsports • April 11, 2013

Derby manager Nigel Clough is looking to sign an experienced centre-half in the summer.

With captain Shaun Barker recovering from knee surgery and set to miss the beginning of next season, and 20-year-old Mark O'Brien also sidelined beyond August as he recovers from a knee operation, Jake Buxton and stand-in skipper Richard Keogh are the only experienced central defenders on the books at Pride Park.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday ahead of Derby's trip to Blackburn, Clough said: "We have to get someone in because of the injuries to Shaun Barker and Mark O'Brien.

"We have Jake Buxton and Richard Keogh, and then young Valentin Gjokaj.

"I think we are at that stage where we have got enough youngsters in the squad and coming through from the academy, so any targets we have this summer will be experienced Championship players."

Successive 1-0 defeats away at Cheltenham and Bradford have left the Cobblers two points behind third-placed Burton with a game in hand on the Brewers.

But Boothroyd is keen to see his side return to winning ways and the manager is determined to go up automatically instead of having to go through the lottery of the play-offs.

"We have come a very long way and I don't want to settle for the play-offs," said Boothroyd ahead of Northampton's home game against York on Saturday.

"I don't want to settle for saying it was a good season and we got the play-offs. I'm a winner and I want to win.

"We must concentrate on ourselves first and foremost, because if we start to worry about what other teams are doing then we will cause problems for ourselves.

"We have got some very committed, talented players and over the whole season it always evens itself out. I know we will be all right. I think it is our destiny to finish in the top three."


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