Former Owl Hinds at rock bottom club

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Troubled Crewe Alexandra are set to hand a week-long trial to former Sheffield Wednesday defender Richard Hinds, who is a free agent following his release this summer.

The 31-year-old started in a 1-0 victory for Crewe’s reserves against Notts County on Monday.

“Richard is an experienced player and he looked fine,” Alex manager Dario Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke.

“We’ll have a further look at him before we do anything more because we don’t want to be wasting his time and we don’t want to waste ours.”

Hinds was released by League One side Wednesday after last season having scored twice in 75 appearances during his four years at Hillsborough.

He has also had spells with Tranmere Rovers and Hull City.

Crewe are bottom of the Football League and have lost all five competitive matches that they have played so far this season, conceding 12 goals.

Ipswich manager Paul Jewell, the former Wednesday manager, is stepping up efforts to sign Jimmy Bullard.

The midfielder, whose contract with Hull is being terminated, enjoyed a successful three-month loan spell at Portman Road

last season. Jewell, who faces competition for the 32-year-old’s signature, said: “I spoke to Jimmy twice on Monday and once on Sunday with the owner about him. He had a meeting with QPR and there are a couple of Premier League teams in for him, but we’re trying to be competitive and we’re trying to bring him here. Jimmy’s going to be very expensive, but he does also want to play football so we’re trying to do something with him.”

Bullard is still registered as a Hull player and is not permitted to join another club without the Tigers’ clearance.

Leicester’s football director Andrew Neville insists the club are still looking to sign a striker. Leicester are keen to strengthen their attacking options, but have had bids rejected for Bristol City’s Nicky Maynard and Everton’s Jermaine Beckford and missed out on Shane Long.

Neville said: “We were hopeful a couple of days ago. Hopefully by Saturday we’ll have somebody. It’s not the answer people want, but we’re looking.”

Derby defender Jake Buxton is closing in on a return from a near 18-month injury lay-off.

The 26-year-old centre-back has endured a catalogue of groin, stomach and back problems.

He was restricted to one 10-minute appearance last season as a substitute at Sheffield United in February, but is back in training and has been pencilled in for a reserve-team fixture against Port Vale on Wednesday.