Nigel Clough says he’s happy to have competition for places in attack – and he’s convinced it will bring out the best of his strike force.
Conor Sammon and Jamie Ward have led the line in Derby’s last two outings against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford, and the pair opened their accounts of the season against the Hornets in a 5-1 home win at Pride Park before the two-week international break.
With last season’s joint leading goalscorer Theo Robinon and Nathan Tyson waiting in the wings, as well as talented youngster Mason Bennett, Clough has a variety of attacking options to choose from.
He said: “It’s nice to have a few selection choices up front, which hasn’t always been the case in the past.
“Nathan Tyson and Theo Robinson got goals in pre-season and in the early games, but in the last few weeks we’ve opted for Jamie Ward and Conor Sammon.
“Some of their play has been excellent and we’ve seen plenty of good things from them, and it was great to see them on the scoresheet against Watford.
“They both deserved their goals and it was pleasing for the pair of them to score against Watford, as they were at the stage where they both needed a goal.
“Now they both need to keep scoring if they’re to keep their places, because we do have options which is always a nice thing to have at this level.”
Clough believes all his forwards will have a part to play throughout the campaign and he added: “We said it at the start of the season and we’ll continue to say it, all the players have a part to play this season.
“Whoever we go with in attack from the start in games, the lads who are on the bench will remain part of our plans and will have an important role to play.”