Derby County have been ticking along nicely this season in Frank Lampard’s first season in management.
The Rams slipped out of the top six this weekend after their draw with Preston North End coincided with Bristol City winning.
Lampard’s team play football that is relatively easy on the eye and it easy to see why they have occupied a top-six berth for the majority of the campaign.
The Chelsea legend has used the loan market to his advantage.
Mason Mount and Harry Wilson arrived from the Premier League and have both looked impressive.
It was perhaps the business which Lampard didn’t do during the January window that could prove his downfall.
The Derby boss had made no secret of his desire to sign a central defender during the window but the clock ticked by with no defensive recruit.
According to the Derby Telegraph, Lampard wanted to land Everton youngster Matthew Pennington but a deal couldn’t be struck.
After calling it ‘hugely important’, in a piece with the Derby Telegraph, that a central defender was added, the Rams boss will undoubtedly be disappointed – and it could prove costly.
Last two standing
Richard Keogh and Fikayo Tomori have played 33 of the club’s 36 fixtures this season.
The pairing has looked impressive in tandem but adding competition was vital.
One injury to a defender could leave the Rams snookered in their promotion quest.
The only defender on the bench for Friday’s 0-0 draw at Preston was right-back Andre Wisdom.
Not signing another defender and falling out of the play-off places has offered Lampard a double blow this weekend.
The challenge for the boss now is to try and keep the players he does have at his disposal fit and firing.