Football League Preview: Ince challenges Derby

Tom Ince has challenged Derby County to build on the "marker" they set against Bolton Wanderers in Tuesday's top-of-the-table Championship clash at Bournemouth.

Ince joined Derby on loan from Hull City last week and enjoyed a memorable debut on Saturday against Bolton, scoring twice in a 4-1 victory.

The winger wants no let-up when Derby visit Dean Court to play a Bournemouth side that sit above Steve McClaren's team by virtue of goal difference only.

"Both Bournemouth and ourselves are at the top and are not letting off," Ince told Derby's official website.

"We put a marker down against Bolton on Saturday and we need to go to Bournemouth on Tuesday with the same confidence, the same belief and try and get the three points."

Bournemouth, who lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture to Derby in September, have enjoyed a fine campaign, but just seven points separate them from sixth-placed Watford, who occupy the final play-off spot. 

And manager Eddie Howe expects the race for automatic promotion to go the distance.

"We haven't really talked about promotion here," he told talkSPORT. "For us, it is just about maintaining our performance levels.

"There are a lot of good sides up there and I have always had the feeling it will go right down to the wire."

A draw could pave the way for Middlesbrough to go top of the table. Aitor Karanka's side host rock-bottom Blackpool, who have yet to win away from home in 2014-15.

Two other teams with automatic aspirations meet at Griffin Park when Brentford take on Watford, while Ipswich Town aim to end a three-match winless run at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

The promotion race is equally thrilling in League One.

Bristol City and MK Dons played out a 0-0 in what was a clash of the top two last Saturday. 

Leaders City aim to return to winning ways at home to Port Vale, while the Dons - now third - visit Bradford City on Monday.

Swindon Town moved above the Dons into second after beating Barnsley, but Mark Cooper's men face a tricky visit to Boundary Park to face promotion hopefuls Oldham Athletic.

Fourth plays fifth as Preston North End visit Chesterfield, while Crewe Alexandra and Yeovil Town compete in a relegation six-pointer.

Burton Albion went 10 matches unbeaten with a 3-1 win at Cheltenham Town at the weekend to go top of League Two. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's men now meet AFC Wimbledon.

Also in League Two, Luton Town aim to boost their top-three hopes at home to relegation-threatened York City, while Wycombe Wanderers and Shrewsbury Town face Plymouth Argyle and Carlisle United respectively.