It seems like Paul Jewell has finally admitted that his squad at present is not good enough for an immediate return to the Premier League.
The Derby County manager is looking to dip his hands into the loan market to see if he can add some fresh blood to his somewhat depleted squad.
He told the local radio show: "I think we need two or three players to try and help the squad along. We’ve made good progress but we just look a bit jaded at the moment." This came after Derby reached the Carling Cup quarter-finals after their 2-1 win over Leeds United.
Jewell tried to buy big in the summer and tried to offload the deadwood that helped relegate Derby last term. There abysmal cameo appearance was obviously down to a lack of talent and it is missing this year too.
Currently sitting thirteenth and only four points away from the playoff picture does not seem bad going. However, fellow relegated clubs Reading and Birmingham have shown another class as they occupy two of the top three positions in the Championship, without spending the money Derby did.
Jewell has some quality within the squad but they are simply not playing well. Confidence is badly damaged and those fans who watch them week in week out must be frustrated. Derby had the best fans in the Premier League, and that was evident when they sold more season tickets this term than when they were in the top flight.
The players brought in have the calibre to be in that top two rather than playing around in mid-table. So far, they have all been rather disappointing.
Nathan Ellington (on loan from Watford) has been prolific before but this term his form has dried up.
Rob Hulse was also added to that attack from Sheffield United, has he has been known to score goals, especially in this division.
Defenders Jordan Stewart and Paul Connolly have provided more cover, they joined from Watford and Plymouth respectively.
Other players including Australian Ruben Zadkovich, Paul Green from Doncaster Rovers, Kris Commons from Nottingham Forest, promising forward Steve Davies joined from Tranmere Rovers, Martin Albrechtsen from West Brom, and youngster Liam Dickinson from Stockport County have been drafted, none of whom have played that well.
Starlets Przemyslaw Kazmierczak and Nacer Barazite have also joined on loan from FC Porto and Arsenal respectively but their impact has been limited.
The season is only 16 games old and there is a matter of 30 games yet to be decided. I hope that for Derby’s sake Jewell can get those "two or three" players in to help gel the squad and get them to playing the football the fans deserve.
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