Frank Lampard firmly believes Derby can reach the Championship play-off final against Aston Villa (5/1 To Qualify) despite his side going to Leeds United on Wednesday trailing 1-0 from the first leg.
The Rams boss watched as his side failed to make home advantage count at Pride Park on Saturday when Kemar Roofe scored the only goal to give the Whites a one-goal lead to take back to Elland Road for the second leg.
The weight of history is now firmly on the side of Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds given that no team has lost the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final at home and then progressed to the final.
The Yorkshiremen have also defeated the Rams in all three meetings so far this season, including a 2-0 win on home soil in January.
Therefore, it looks a tall order for Derby to go through to a Wembley showdown against Villa on May 27, but Lampard insists his team will go to Leeds full of “belief” (Leeds 3/4, Derby 4/1, Draw 29/10 – Match Betting).
Lampard, who is again set to be without Martyn Waghorn because of an Achilles tendon injury, while Duane Holmes is out after being forced off on Saturday, said: “We have a determination that we are still in the game.
“It is going to be really tough, more tough now to go there (to Elland Road) one goal down, but we can only be positive.
“We’ve had some big performances this year and turned around some games within games, from a losing situation to a winning one. Those are the things we know we have.
“So, yes, we need to take that belief. We have to believe, that’s the most important thing I will be telling the players before the game – we must believe until the last minute because our fans will travel in numbers, and they will believe.”
Leeds’ first-leg goal scorer Roofe will miss the game with a calf injury, Adam Forshaw is absent because of a knock and Pontus Jansson is doubtful, but striker Patrick Bamford returns following a two-game suspension.
Odds subject to change