Derby have had to turn to a number of young and youthful players over the course of the campaign to help the Rams battle at the wrong end of the table – and one of them in Jack Stretton has told the club’s official website how he wants to ‘force his way back into the team.’
The club have picked up some superb results and, without a points deduction, would not have been in their current predicament in the Championship table.
One area where they have struggled though has been in front of goal, with the side managing just 13 goals in 17 games so far this year. It’s led to them choosing a number of players to feature in that area – and one of them has been young Jack Stretton.
Quiz: Have any of these 30 ex-Derby County players ever played abroad?
The 20-year-old has featured eight times so far this season and has even bagged a goal along the way. He managed to feature fairly regularly in the first-team when the Rams were left struggling for forward options through injury – but now, the young attacker has found himself confined to the reserve team again.
He last featured for the team back at the beginning of October and has not been in the squad for over a month now. However, it hasn’t stopped the player from being desperate to break back into the side again as soon as he can.
Speaking to the club’s official website about it, he said: “Each time I play it is about showing the gaffer what I can do and try to force my way into the team.
“While I am getting games for the Under-23s I’ll give my best and try to get more goals. That’s been the message from the manager. It’s been really important to get some minutes in my legs and keep ticking over so when the time comes that I’m needed with the first-team, I’m ready.”
Stretton then will keep firing them in for the club’s reserve side in the hope of being noticed by Wayne Rooney and eventually forcing his way back into the first-team picture. If he can prove his ability consistently for the Under-23s as he has been, then a starting berth may not be out of the question again in the near future.
Jack Stretton has looked a bright talent when given the chance to perform for Derby and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him thrown into the mix again at some point this campaign. He’s proven he can hit the back of the net and he provides another valuable option in attack for the Rams.
If the youngster can just get his chance back in the Championship again, then he will be eager to make his mark and prove he should keep his spot. He is still young too and has plenty of time to get even better – and if he does, he could play a valuable role for the Rams going forward.