Sheffield Wednesday: Rams face anxious wait over David Nugent

Gary Rowett
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Derby striker David Nugent remains a big injury doubt ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Hillsborough.

Nugent, who was heavily linked with a move to Sheffield Wednesday in the last transfer window, sustained a groin strain in their 4-0 drubbing at Brentford a week ago.

IN PICTURE: David Nugent.
SPORT: LEAD: Nottingham Forest v Derby County.  Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham.  Saturday, 18th March 2017.
MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY.  CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354

IN PICTURE: David Nugent. SPORT: LEAD: Nottingham Forest v Derby County. Sky Bet Championship match at the City Ground, Nottingham. Saturday, 18th March 2017. MARK FEAR - MARK FEAR PHOTOGRAPHY. CONTACT markfearphotographer@outlook.com (+44) 753 977 3354

The former England international played no part in their Easter Monday draw with Huddersfield Town.

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Nugent has notched five goals in 15 appearances since joining the Rams from Middlesbrough for £2.5m in January.

Should Nugent be passed fit to play, he could replace Darren Bent up front.

Derby have won three and drawn two of Gary Rowett’s six matches in charge.

Rowett is the Rams’ fifth manager in 13 months following Paul Clement, Darren Wassall, Nigel Pearson and McClaren.

Rowett, harshly axed by Birmingham City last December, spent four years of his playing days at Derby, racking up 120 appearances.

The ex-Burton Albion manager is relishing the task of transforming Derby’s fortunes.

“If I am being really honest, the second I was offered the job I knew exactly what was required and the first day I stepped into the building I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.

“I have watched every game Derby have played probably over the last year and a half. I spent ages watching and assessing players, and looking at what we need moving forward.

“In three days I probably watched every game of this season and probably last season.

“We know what we want to do but what we have to do is try to be fair and give the players an opportunity because sometimes you have an opinion of a player but when you come and work with them that opinion changes.”

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Despite enjoying 59 per cent of the possession against the Terriers, Derby registered only two shots on target. Rowett is demanding his players improve their decision-making in the final third.

Rowett, who may give youngster Max Lowe a start at left-back, said: “We got into some good positions but at times we need to commit the opposition more, we need to go past players and then have a shot or take players on a bit more in the final third.

“We have got this sort of habit of moving the ball, moving the ball, moving the ball. That’s great but at some point you have to do something extra with it - it’s either got to be a ball in the box or a shot or a run.

“I understand the fans’ point of view that they don’t want to see the ball moving sideways, and nor do I – I want to see us trying to be brave and trying to penetrate with our runs and passes.”

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