The Rams return to action on Saturday against Rotherham United at Pride Park. They will be hoping to have Mason Mount back in the squad for the first time since the FA Cup game at Accrington Stanley. We are now well and truly at the business end of the season, with Derby looking to make that push for a play-off place.
The rumour mill has been in overdrive in the past week or so with regards to the ownership of the club. Ever since it was confirmed that Mel Morris would consider selling, there has been reported interest from the USA, Canada and even the Far East.
While the accounts have not yet been published, irrespective of how much it will take to relinquish ownership of the club, Mel Morris, I feel, will sell up. Unless we get promotion, the level of spending has to be reduced drastically.
There are some fans who say it’s too early to go up. Well, I disagree It could soon be too late! The riches of the Premier League can save the bank balance from looking so sick if managed well. A pot of gold with £180 million awaits those who make it.
Should we not go up, then it will be a season of balancing the books, using what we have and maybe trying to cash in on a couple of players in order to be able to proceed with bringing in new faces. Not all managers are able to do as such. The likes of Neil Warnock and Chris Wilder are too rare in the game. Both are among those who can do a lot with a little.
The national press are speculating that Derby, along with Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday, could be about to be hit with some serious sanctions. How they have come to this conclusion without the benefit of seeing the accounts is beyond me. Points deductions do not usually come until a club has breached a transfer embargo and we aren’t even at that stage.
It’s obvious that Villa will have to sell if they don’t succeed in gaining promotion. They do have, though, quite a portfolio of assets that would attract quite significant fees too.
Here at Derby County, we don’t have the same stock of players that will attract such fees, but there has been plenty of admiration for young Jayden Bogle, with interest apparently from Bournemouth, Burnley and Chelsea. Other academy players are starting to edge themselves towards the first-team squad and, maybe in a couple of years, we will have some real home-produced gems taking up several places in the squad.
Getting back to Saturday, we face a Rotherham side that are engaged in a battle to remain a Championship club. We lost when we visited the excellent New York Stadium earlier in the season and will have to be wary of thinking this is going to be an easy match. This will be a battle. We have to win games like this, though, if our play-off ambitions are to be realised.