Date: 1st January 2008 at 9:05am
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Rams Chairman`s Hopes for the future

The Rams head into 2008 rock bottom in the Premier league but new Chairman Adam Pearson insists the Rams can become a Premier League force – but he does admit they look set for relegation at the end of the season, with just seven points from 20 games, and many pundits believe it will take a miracle for the Rams to survive the drop.

The club who are bottom of the Premier league at Christmas always seem to go on and get relegated, and only one team has ever avoided relegation after being bottom of the table at Christmas – that was West Brom three seasons ago – but the plight of the Rams this term makes the odds heavily against them repeating this in 2008.

But Pearson told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘It will be a Premier League force; I’ve no doubt about that.

‘Everything’s in place for that to happen. With the right recruitment in January and June, it can be a major force very quickly.’

On the questions of survival this season, Pearson was honest in his answer and said: ‘It looks a tall order at the moment – we have to be serious and genuine about that.

‘But we are very optimistic about the future of the club.’

The Rams were everyone`s tip for relegation this season and after winning promotion via the play-offs last season, they have struggled to make an impression in the top flight and parted company with manager Billy Davies on 26 November.

The likeable Scotsman believed Derby was promoted too soon, in fact it was in his first season at Pride Park. He spoke of a three year plan to get the Rams in the Premiership, and his success was probably his down fall in the end.

With former Wigan, Bradford and Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Jewell now at the helm he has been given the unenviable job of turning their fortunes around, but even his track record of miraculous escapes does not seem capable of saving the Rams.

But, Pearson, who bought a majority stake in Derby in October, remains upbeat.

‘Paul and I have just arrived there – we have only been there a matter of weeks – and it’s a long-term project,’ he told Radio 5 Live.

‘We know it’s going to take time to rebuild the club. We are going to do it properly and we are going to recruit properly.

‘The club’s in good shape. It’s got a fantastic fan base, great facilities, one of the best managers we could have possibly have attracted to the club and we’ve got potential investment coming into the club in the New Year.

‘With or without it, this club will come back.’

The Rams are the only Premier League side without a European player in it`s team, which is unusual in the game these day`s but Pearson believes the Rams are intended to spread its net a little wider in its search for new players.

‘Primarily we are looking abroad,’ he added.

‘We seem to have limited ourselves to the UK market over the last year and maybe we need to broaden our horizons.

‘I think that’s what Paul and his scouting team are trying to do right now.’

 

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