Derby County manager Frank Lampard watched his side cling on to a top six spot last night, albeit with an edgy 0-0 draw against Stoke City.
The Rams threw everything at the resilient Potters, but in the end lost ground in their hunt for a play-off place. They’re still sixth, but now have a game less to play than rivals Bristol City.
It leaves the Rams in an uncertain position going into the last ten games and with seven players out of contract, there’s still much to be decided at Pride Park.
Lampard tried to clear the situation up when speaking to Derbyshire Live after the game, hinting that there would be exits but that had to be resolved later, not in the heat of the promotion battle.
“We are a particular club at the moment,” he said.
“We have, I think, seven out of contract in the summer and we know we have spoken a lot about addressing the balance financially at the club, so there will be a lot of work to do for everyone.”
“The important thing from my point of view, and their’s, is that’s for the summer. What’s important is the 10 games in between. What is important for me is that the players themselves handle that in the right way.”
Craig Bryson, Bradley Johnson, David Nugent, Kelle Roos and Marcus Olsson are all out of contract in the summer.
Also, three players currently out on loan; Alex Pearce, Jacob Butterfield and Nick Blackman are also becoming free agents.
I would be very surprised if any of the seven players were at the club after the season conclusion.
This campaign has been disappointing for the Rams, they’ve threatened to do well but ultimately have flattered to deceive.
The players in question, bar perhaps David Nugent, have been nothing more than bit part players and they’re surely going to be seeking pastures new.