Derby County chief Trevor Birch insists reports of a rift between the board and manager Billy Davies are wide of the mark.

He said: "Billy signed an extended contract with this club only a matter of weeks ago and only last week Peter Gadsby restated our absolute faith in Billy's ability to take Derby County forward.

"We are aware there have been external forces around for some time now that have sought to destabilise this club and we would urge fans to take any stories they read quoting unnamed sources with a pinch of salt."