Andy Buckley-Taylor’s Derby County blog: Good start by Steve McClaren, but there is still work to do

The Rams return to action this Saturday after another international break with the visit of Birmingham City.

So far maximum points have been secured from Steve McClaren’s two games in charge, but there is still work to do in making this team promotion material.

The centre half position has again posed problems just when we thought that it had been solved. Zak Whitbread, who has impressed in the last three games is now lost to injury for three weeks.

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With Mark O’Brien not ready for a return to first team action, Andre Wisdom has joined on loan for the rest of the season on a youth loan.

Wisdom has made a dozen or so appearances for Liverpool’s first team and has captained England at Under-21 level. He is the second player to be brought in by Steve Mac after Simon Dawkins joined us prior to the Watford game on loan from Tottenham.

Wisdom coming in from Liverpool has re-ignited the speculation that Will Hughes could be on his way to Anfield in January. Speculation about the young midfielder hasn’t ceased in the last year or so, but for the time being he remains a Derby player.

The club has made it known that it will take a very large fee to tempt them to sell. As Archie Gemmill pointed out at a recent fans forum, the club could actually make improvements to the playing squad with any such funds that Liverpool or any other club pay. The way I see it is we are in a no lose situation whether Will stays or moves on.

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On to this Saturday we face the Jekyll and Hyde Birmingham City. There’s no doubt that they have a squad loaned with talent, but have disappointed on the field. We need to be keeping players like Chris Burke and Jesse Lingard quiet or it could be a frustrating afternoon.

Thankfully our own players that were on international duty have returned without any injuries being reported. Hendrick, Russell and Whitbread missing does leave gaps, however we should hopefully cover for them with other players who seem to have hit form recently.

Come on you Rams!