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'Let's raise the roof' - Ashton

Good afternoon and welcome to the players, officials and supporters from Derby County.

What a season it’s been, with lots of thrills and spills. This is our 23rd home game in the Sky Bet Championship as well as the three Emirates FA Cup ties and a Carabao Cup fixture.

Your support throughout the whole campaign has been superb, with attendances up on last year, and you can make a real difference to the team’s performance as we

look to extend our season beyond May 5th.

This will be an important nine days for our club beginning today with this crucial fixture against our play-off rivals, followed by trips to Millwall and Hull respectively.

While we were disappointed with the result at Sheffield Wednesday, we are still very much in the mix with our destiny in our own hands.

I am extremely proud of how far we progressed this season but there is much more work to be done.

Today we are honoured to be joining more than 160 clubs across the UK taking part in Amnesty International’s ‘Football Welcomes’ weekend.

The initiative, which was started by Amnesty in 2017, celebrates refugees’ contribution to football and aims to highlight the important role football clubs can play in welcoming refugees into their local communities and helping them settle into a new country and culture.

Both ourselves and Bristol City Women will welcome groups of refugees – currently housed in the Bristol area – to this weekend’s games.

I would also urge you to go along and support City Women in their final match of the season on Sunday against West Ham United at Stoke Gifford Stadium at 3pm. Tanya Oxtoby’s side are currently sixth in the table and I know she and the players will be very appreciative of your support.

But back to today’s game and the part we can all play. Let’s really raise the roof at Ashton Gate and roar the boys on.

Enjoy the game.

Mark

These are Mark Ashton's programme notes, inside today's edition of Well Red (v Derby County). Scan page 11 with the club app for exclusive video content.

Well Red can be bought around Ashton Gate for £3.50 with five copies of today's programme including a golden ticket.