Appleby confident of Derby bouncing straight back

Chairman Andy Appleby believes Derby County's "tremendous" fans will provide the club with a crucial advantage in the Championship next season.

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Derby are heading for relegation but will look to bounce straight back and Appleby sees the supporters playing a key role.

He saluted them after they roared the Rams to the verge of a shock result against champions Manchester United.

Backed by their biggest crowd of the season, the Rams held United for 76 minutes before Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a late winner to put the visitors top.

The gate of 33,072 was the largest for a competitive match at Pride Park Stadium in six years and the third successive full-house, despite the team being rooted to the foot of the table with only one win in a torrid campaign.

Appleby, whose company General Sports and Entertainment controls 93 per cent of the shares following the £50m takeover in January, is visiting from the United States.

His belief that better days lie ahead for the club has been strengthened by what he witnessed at the United game.

He told the Derby Evening Telegraph."In America, we typically have to be prompted to clap and cheer.

"Here, without all the video screens and such, this crowd is as good as any I have seen," said Appleby.

"I think the real proof is to see a team that has won so few, as we have, and yet the support the crowd gave was nothing short of tremendous."

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