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No deadline day deals likely for Derby County as Steve McClaren hails squad

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

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STEVE McClaren says Derby County are unlikely to add to the squad ahead of tonight’s deadline for emergency loans.

Derby have injury concerns over Jamie Ward, Simon Dawkins and Will Hughes but McClaren is happy with his squad.

“I cannot see anybody out there who can make a great deal of difference to this team and squad, so there is no point doing it,” said the head coach.

Ward, Dawkins and Hughes all missed Tuesday night’s defeat by Ipswich Town at Portman Road.

A hamstring injury could rule Ward out for a “couple of weeks” and Dawkins “the next few weeks” with a groin problem, according to first-team coach Paul Simpson.

Hughes was only considered ready for the substitutes’ bench in the victory over Nottingham Forest at the weekend and the 18-year-old midfielder did not travel with the squad to Ipswich due to a hip flexor injury.

“He has got a little niggle, and it kept him from playing from the start against Forest,” said McClaren.

“It is a bit of a worry, but I expect him to be fit for Saturday.”

Speculation this week has linked Derby with Bolton Wanderers’ winger Chris Eagles and defensive midfielder Keith Andrews, who is loan at Brighton from Bolton.

I have been told there is nothing in the speculation.

Bolton manager Dougie Freedman has also dismissed talk of Eagles joining Derby on loan.

“I saw the link with Derby but we have had no phone calls for him (Eagles) or any players,” said Freedman.

“Obviously, Chris is a little bit frustrated he doesn’t find himself in the team at present but that is more down to the form of others like Neil Danns and Joe Mason who play in the same position.”

When asked about his squad, McClaren said: “It is a good squad.

“Johnny Russell came at Ipswich and was excellent, Patrick Bamford got the goal, and we have players coming off the bench.”

Derby’s options to fill the two wide roles in the team have been reduced from five to two given the injuries to Ward and Dawkins, and with 17-year-old Mason Bennett out on loan at Chesterfield for a month.

Experienced midfielder John Eustace will return to the Rams squad for Saturday’s home game against Charlton Athletic. He has missed the last two games through suspension.

DERBY defender Craig Forsyth is walking a disciplinary tightrope.

The left back collected his ninth booking of the season in Tuesday night’s defeat by Ipswich.

One more yellow card between now and the second Sunday in April will see the Scot banned for two matches.

Derby have four games before then - Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town at home, Middlesbrough and Blackpool away.

Forsyth, a summer signing from Watford, is Derby’s only outfield player to have started every game.

The natural replacement should he be suspended is Lee Naylor, who joined the Rams last month on a contract until the end of the season.

Naylor made his debut at Ipswich when he came off the bench in stoppage time.

Derby have had three players suspended this season.

Experienced midfielder John Eustace missed one game after reaching five yellow cards and has now served a two-match ban for 10 yellows.

Top scorer Chris Martin sat out one match following his red card at Burnley as did skipper Ricjard Keogh after he was dismissed in the defeat by Nottingham Forest at the City Ground for two bookings.

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