Shaun Derry: Notts County manager's past experiences can aid club's survival quest

Magpies mean 'everything' to Meadow Lane chief

Last Updated: 27/04/14 3:47pm

Shaun Derry says his experience of fighting relegation as a player can help him lead Notts County to safety.

Derry was part of the Crystal Palace side that avoided slipping out of the Championship on the final day of the 2009/10 season, while he also started the last game of the 2011/12 Premier League campaign for QPR as the Hoops dramatically lost to Man City but still stayed up.

The Magpies boss - who also sunk into the second tier with the Loftus Road outfit last season before taking charge of his hometown club - has propelled County out of the League One drop zone off the back of four wins in five, including triumphs over fellow strugglers Carlisle, Colchester and Crewe.

And Derry says he will not get fazed if survival is not secured before the last game at Oldham.

"I arrived in a battle but that seems to have been the story of my career as a player," Derry, who succeeded Chris Kiwomya as County manager in November, told FL72-Preview.

"I was always in and around a battling team and had something to play for at the end of the season, whether that was good, bad or indifferent.

"It always seemed to go down to that final two or three games, so if I can transfer the way I am towards the guys [that can help us].

"But I've also said to the players that we have been down there and played under the pressure of being in the bottom four all season so we know how to handle it."

Appreciative

Derry's playing career encompassed permanent spells at Sheffield United, Portsmouth, and Leeds and temporary stints at Nottingham Forest and Millwall, in addition to his days at Crystal Palace and QPR.

"I've explained to the guys that they are playing not just for themselves but for a city, community and great football club."

Shaun Derry

But the ex-midfielder began his footballing life at County, making 82 league appearances for the Meadow Lane side between 1995 and 1998, before heading to Bramall Lane.

And Derry says he is desperate to keep the club that gave him an opportunity in the third tier.

"This is my club, the club I supported as a boy," added Derry. "It gave me a chance in football and I will forever be appreciative.

"It means everything to me and is a fantastic football club with great people working for it and that's what I've tried to say to the players.

"I've explained they are playing not just for themselves but for a city, community and great football club."