The Rams have been given a bit of a hard time in the press over the past month, with player and coach unrest reported on a regular basis – which has both been denied.
Another report over the weekend has linked a move for Preston North End and England under 21 international David Nugent. The report stated that Nugent is Pride Park bound at the end of the season, or is this just another rumour that is designed to de-stabilize the Rams push for the Premiership?
The report claims if (sorry when)the Rams be promoted this season they will be putting a £6m bid in for the striker, to aide the lack of fire power in front of goal. Hello!!! – Steve Howard has scored regularly this season.
But there is the inevitable connection with the player and the Rams manager Billy Davies, who coached the talented striker at Preston before joining the Rams in the summer, so is there some substance to the claims?
But one thing is certain Nugent will be a Premiership player next season, but will he be a Ram? Nugent has said he would like to be playing in the Premier League and his club Preston is still in the mix to do so. Undoubtedly Nugent is a potential star for whichever club he signs for, with Everton also showing overtures for his signature.
The Rams have turned their fortunes on and off the pitch in the past season and the huge debt has been whittled away by the new board headed by Peter Gadsby and his fellow directors. But with the reported figures of Premier League TV revenue the Rams could afford the price tag if promoted.
One thing is for sure Davies has a great deal of admiration for Nugent, who he plucked from Bury Reserves side in 2005.
He said: “‘Nuge has worked extremely hard to come such a long way.
“What I saw then was a player who had the pace and ability to cause defenders problems.
“I’m delighted for the lad. You take a pride in helping young players develop. I had that with James McFadden and Stephen Pearson who were at Motherwell when they broke into the Scotland team.”
Nugent has scored 16 goals in all competitions for Preston this season and has scored three times for the Under-21s, his most recent being in the 2-2 draw with Spain at Pride Park Stadium. He was added to the full England side by manager Steve McClaren for the European championship qualifiers in Israel on Saturday and against Andorra next Wednesday.