Is Derby’s squad strong enough for an immediate Premier League return?

Football FanCast
columnist
Steven Woodgate reacts to Paul Jewell's claims that his squad isn't good enough for
an immediate Premier League return.

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 defeat
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 4 points of the
playoff picture does not seem bad going. However, the start of 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
they did in 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: Austrailian 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
in but have not been playing that well.

Starlets Przemyslaw Kazmierczak and Nacer Barazite have also
joined on loan from FC Porto and Arsenal respectively but their impact have
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
getting them to play the football the fans deserve.