Shaun Derry: Play-acting is in fashion

Play-acting in Premier League is in fashion, claims QPR's Derry

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 28 April 2012

Going to ground: Shaun Derry (right) says it's commonplace in the Premier League

Going to ground: Shaun Derry (right) says it's commonplace in the Premier League

QPR midfielder Shaun Derry believes play-acting has become par for the course in the Barclays Premier League.

Mark Hughes' side face West London
rivals Chelsea on Sunday and Blues' striker Didier Drogba has been one of
the league's major players who have been accused of falling
dramatically when challenged.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young
have also had a question mark put next to his name for going down too
easily in recent weeks but Derry reckons the growing level of
play-acting is something that has to be accepted.

He said: 'It is very much in fashion
at the moment. I think the refs are onto it a bit more now and I'm not
too sure it is going to be a major issue.

'It happens, it is part of the game. I
really don't think that footballers go out intentionally to get the
upper hand on the opponents. What I do believe is that they try and get
an advantage for their team and that is part of the game unfortunately,
it is not nice to watch at times.

'I've played the majority of my career in the Championship and it doesn't get highlighted as much and you can't get away with it in the Premier League.'

Playing to the gallery: Didier Drogba

Playing to the gallery: Didier Drogba

With QPR still playing for their top-flight status a trip to play their local rivals may not be ideal but following the exploits of Chelsea in the Champions League against Barcelona on Tuesday night Derry is hoping the R's can benefit from any resulting tiredness, although the 34-year-old was impressed with Chelsea's performance.

'I'm hoping they've had an absolute nightmare flight and no sleep since Tuesday night because having watched them on Tuesday night you see them in a different light,' he said.

'Lots of question marks have been aimed at Chelsea this season but for me that was an incredible performance – they are deservedly in the final and deservedly going for the top four.

'I think everyone who watched the game on Tuesday night know it is a different Chelsea to the one we came up against earlier in the season and we are under no illusions how hard it is going to be.'

No handshakes: Anton Ferdinand (left) and John Terry

No handshakes: Anton Ferdinand (left) and John Terry

Chelsea played for a large period of the game in the Nou Camp with only 10 men after John Terry's red card, something Derry can sympathise with given that Hughes' side have had eight players dismissed during the season.

'It does drain you,' he said. 'We have been unfortunate enough this season that we have had to deal with that situation several times – I think they will recover, they are fine athletes.'

Interim Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is expected to make several changes to his starting XI from their famous result in the Nou Camp but Derry is not expecting an easy ride.

He said: 'They've probably got plenty of players in reserve who would love to come in a and do a job. I would surprised if it is much of the same side but bearing in mind what quality they have there it is going to be an almighty task for us.'

The match will be defender Anton Ferdinand's first trip to Stamford Bridge since October's reverse fixture, after which allegations emerged he had been racially abused by Terry, something Terry categorically denies.

The Premier League have confirmed the pre-match handshakes will not take place but Derry does not believe that the issue will have an impact during the match.

'No I don't think so, what took place last time has been handled but it is an important game with what we are trying to achieve here.

'Coupled with the fact we are playing our very near and close rivals it is all set-up for a super Sunday – both teams have got so much to play for,' he added.