Nigel Clough says he’s pleased that his strikers have hit the net in pre-season – and he’s challenged them to keep the goals coming.
Frontmen Theo Robinson, Jamie Ward, Nathan Tyson and Mason Bennett have all been on target during pre-season, with Robinson leading the way with four while Ward, Tyson and Bennett all have one each to their names.
The only frontman not on the scoresheet during pre-season is Steven Davies, but he hasn’t featured in Derby’s preparations for the new season due to the fact he is available for transfer after turning down a new contract earlier in the summer.
Clough has made no secret of his desire to bolster his strikeforce and while the arrival of winger Michael Jacobs from Northampton has allowed him to use Ward as a striker rather than out wide, he still remains in the hunt for fresh options in attack.
In the meantime, he has stressed the importance of the frontmen currently on the books to keep chipping in with goals.
“It’s pleasing the lads have got amongst the goals, especially as we’re aware that the striker department is an area we’d like to strengthen,” he said.
“The strikers we have got know they need to chip in and get some goals and it’s nice to have shared them around in pre-season.
“Now we want them to go and do it for real. The idea of the games in pre-season is to sharpen up and if they’ve got goals already, we’d like to think they can do it when the goals really begin to matter.
“That’s the challenge for them and it’s down to whoever we pick to take it.”
Despite scoring nine goals in five pre-season matches, Clough is calling on the Rams to be more ruthless in front of goal.
He has also highlighted the importance of goals coming from midfield.
He said: “We’ve got into areas in and around the box to shoot, but we haven’t and believe me it’s something we’re constantly talking to the players about.
“We’re more than good enough to get to those positions and our play has been of a good quality, so we need someone to step up and have a go from distance, whether it be Paul Coutts, Michael Jacobs or Jeff Hendrick.
“As we’ve talked about before, we need to be a bit more ruthless in the box and we’ve still got some sharpened up to do in that respect.”