Derby County enjoyed a solid campaign during 2018/19 with the Rams reaching the Play-Off Final at Wembley in Frank Lampard’s first season in management.
Promotion couldn’t quite be secured; Derby fell at the final hurdle losing 2-1 to Aston Villa in a closely fought contest.
Despite Lampard’s successful managerial debut season, his time in charge could prove to be short-lived. Strong speculation is linking him with a return to Chelsea, should Maurizio Sarri leave.
News has emerged of potential contingency plans by the Derby board. The Daily Mail believes that owner Mel Morris is keeping a close eye on Charlton boss Lee Bowyer, following his successful campaign at The Valley.
Derby will hope that Lampard sticks around, but should he leave, appointing Bowyer makes all the sense in the world.
Both managers are up-and-coming incumbents and both have shown this season that they are cut from the same cloth when it comes to overseeing their teams.
Bowyer led his Addicks team into the Championship by defeating Sunderland in the League One Play-Off Final. A remarkable achievement considering the off-field situation at the football club.
Derby showed unbelievable character throughout 2018/19. They bounced back from a poor run of form in February and March to overturn Leeds in a two-legged play-off semi-final, showing unrivalled heart and determination.
Bowyer has made his Charlton players believe. They were by no means promotion favourites prior to the campaign, but he’s transformed the mentality of his players considerably.
Following Derby’s failure to win promotion it could be a bleak summer in the transfer market for the Rams. They will need to beg, borrow and steal to add to their ranks and that wouldn’t faze Bowyer at all.
Lampard leaving would represent an obvious blow, but Bowyer could prove a masterful appointment by Derby.