Here I take a look at Derby’s options up front and why we need a striker on loan.
During the Hull defeat Derby’s attacking options got worse, top goalscorer Theo Robinson picked up an injury during the game. Currently we don’t know how long Theo will be out for. Jamie Ward played up front instead of on the wing where he has played most of the season. Chris Maguire replaced Theo Robinson on 15 minutes and Maguire was not very good. Steven Davies is still out injured with a fractured skull and Nathan Tyson still is out with a groin injury, but should be back training in a couple of weeks. Robinson and Davies have been our best strikers this season with 10 goals between them. Nathan Tyson looked to be a key player when he signed, but has only appeared once since the season began. In other positions we have midfielder James Bailey out of action, Centre Half Russ Anderson out for a while with a hamstring injury, Full back Kevin Kilbane out and Riggott, Barker, Brayford and Green only just recovered from injury. So many injuries season after season, what is the problem ? Is it something in training ? who knows why we get all these injuries, season after season.
So currently Chris Maguire, Tomasz Cywaka, Conor Doyle, Callum Ball, Mason Bennett (usually plays for academy) and Jamie ward (better on the wing surely ?) are the available striking options for Clough.It sounds a lot but none of them are great goalscorers or are a good target man. Cywaka is good but small and can’t head the ball likewise with Maguire. Conor Doyle is only 20 and I can’t see being a regular in the first 11. Jamie Ward has played so well on the wing this season (Forest away, What a goal!) but if he is up front he needs a bigger target man who can hold it up and can feed him the ball. Callum ball has done really well at reserve level and in the under-18’s scoring a lot of goals, does he deserve a chance ? At the moment we haven’t got good, fit and available Championship strikers.
A striker on loan, please ! Steve Howard has been mentioned a couple of times this season but nothing has come of it. Howard would be ideal he is a good target-man and good heading ability for some of Ben Davies’ excellent crosses. He is a proven goalscorer at this level with good experience of the league he is perfect ? I wonder why the board are so reluctant to sign a striker on loan. Another Ex-ram that comes to mind is Rob Hulse who can’t get into the QPR team at the moment, I doubt Hulse would come back. Former Blackburn, Southampton, Everton, Sheff United, Stoke, rangers and Blackpool player James Beattie is training with League 1 Sheffield United and on track to earn a contract. He is not a League 1 striker he is Championship or Premier League. Somebody like him is needed. I’m sure there are some free-agents out there or some loans like Howard. The Loan window closes on Thursday (24th Nov).