OPINION: Derby County need to ease goalscoring pressures on Tom Ince

Derby battled their way to a win with promotion rivals Reading on Saturday in a five goal thriller which saw Tom Ince hit double figures for the season too.

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 3:47 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 3:52 pm
Gaetanao Berardi holds off Tom Ince. Leeds United v Derby County. SkyBet Championship. 13 January 2017. Picture Bruce Rollinson

There does remain a question though over our forwards strike rates. Darren Bent is chipping in with a goal now and then even though we don’t play the preferred formation to which we can make the most of his shooting skills.

What is worrying’ is the fact that very few goals are being scored by our other attackers. Matej Vydra has only managed two goals since his transfer, though just like Bent, he isn’t really suited to the 4-3-3 system.

Fans have been eagerly awaiting new signings since the transfer window opened and it is an attacking midfielder, a winger and a striker that’s on most peoples wish list.

We have for many seasons seen the club push out forwards to the flanks and despite some pretty good returns at times, you can’t beat having naturally positioned players.

David Nugent has been brought in from Middlesbrough, but disappointingly he is already on the treatment table having only played twenty minutes for the club since his arrival.

Steve McClaren was quite candid in his post match interview on Saturday. Stating that he is happy with the squad and will only sign players that will improve it.

The second part of that answer is stating what should be the obvious. Our last couple or three transfer windows haven’t been particularly successful.

Prior to the start of last season we brought in Tom Ince, Scott Carson, Chris Baird and Darren Bent on full transfers and they were signed before we had a manager in situ. Paul Clement added Nick Blackman, Jacob Butterfield, Bradley Johnson and Abdoul Camara and there was some serious cash spent by club owner Mel Morris.

In my opinion we paid over the odds for all of Clement’s signings. Only Johnson has had any great success in the side and that’s after having a period of struggle towards the end of last season.

Nigel Pearson spent heavily on the likes of Vydra and Ikechi Anya who have both fallen well short of justifying their fees. There is indeed speculation that Anya along with Blackman and Camara could be on their way out of the club. Andreas Weimann has already joined Wolves on loan.

Despite a bid for Henri Lansbury (Who Forest were never going to sell to us) and links to players such as Bakary Sako and Ross McCormack, it’s been very quiet on the trading front.

January signings can help or a be a hinderence to achieving an end of season goal and bosses must avoid the temptation of throwing silly money at overrated players. Over the top fees being quite common at this time of year. Too many changes can prove to be disruptive and upset the balance of the team.

Personally I’m hoping for a little more bite going forward and maybe Omar Bogle the Grimsby forward we keep getting linked with will be that man. We will just have to wait and see.

We have FA Cup action coming up on Friday night against the current Premier League Champions Leicester City.

We haven’t got a good record against them in recent years, but they are not having such a good season.

Still in the Champions League, but domestic form has been poor in comparison to last seasons brilliance. We may be playing them at the right time and hopefully our team will take advantage of their current form.

It is a local Derby geographically, but although we will be wanted to claim a scalp, it’s nothing like as fierce a rivalry as the Derby v Forest one. Tweeters are often reminding Foxes fans of that too!

This might just be the right time to play them and I for one won’t be surprised if we pull it off!