Derby boss Clough defends Savage after reaction to Birmingham fans

Derby County boss Nigel Clough defended Robbie Savage after his reaction towards fans following Liam Ridgewell's winner for Birmingham City after yesterday's FA Cup defeat.

Derby County boss Nigel Clough defended Robbie Savage after his reaction towards fans following Liam Ridgewell's winner for Birmingham City after yesterday's FA Cup defeat.

Clough played down hand gestures made by former Birmingham midfielder Savage towards the Blues' fans after Ridgewell had netted a 91st minute winner.

He said: "I'd rather talk about the 95 minutes of football before that. If you want to make a big issue about a gesture from a captain of a team which has conceded so late in the game, then do that but I'd rather talk about more positive things."

Savage was constantly barracked throughout the game in response to his controversial exit as a player from St Andrew's.

But the former Welsh international turned in a fine display before City's late double goal blast ended his interest in the competition.

Clough said: "Robbie gets that sort of reception wherever he plays. You would think he would be used to it by now but it was all about the disappointment of conceding so late.

"We saw another very good performance by him today and he battled well against Lee Bowyer and Barry Ferguson.

"I thought overall that we deserved at least a replay and we do feel slightly hard done by.

"Stephen Bywater did not have much to do and we created enough situations ourselves when 1-0 up and did not sit back.

"We were as comfortable as anyone can be when facing a team lying eighth in the Premier League but we were undone by two set plays."

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