Derby manager Phillip Cocu says Jordon Ibe is likely to play another game for the club’s Under 23s side before making his second senior debut for the club.
The former Derby loanee returned to the club on a permanent basis earlier this summer following his departure from Bournemouth, but has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Rams this season, due to a lack of match fitness, having not played for the Cherries since a League Cup tie last September.
Ibe did however play the first half of a 3-1 win for Derby’s Under 23s over Southampton on Friday, finding the net in that game, and it seems the winger’s work with the club’s youth team is not done just yet, even though Cocu was pleased with that he saw from the 24-year-old in that game.
Speaking about Ibe after his return to action, Cocu told Derby’s official website: “It was positive for Jordon to get some minutes. He played 45 minutes and we saw the sparks and the quality he has, as well as a fantastic goal.
“It was good that he played because he needs real game minutes. Maybe he needs one more game to try to push towards an hour or more, but he is getting closer to being involved in the first-team.”
Derby’s Under 23s are next in action when they face West Ham a week on Monday, with the senior side’s next game after that at home to QPR the following Wednesday, before the visit of Barnsley that weekend leads into the November international break.
This is encouraging for Derby with regards to the progress Ibe appears to be making.
With the Rams currently at the wrong end of the Championship table, the pressure is on them to turn things around quickly, and Ibe’s impact at Under 23s level suggests he could help them to do that.
Indeed, given he has been on the sidelines for so long recently, you do feel as though the winger will be desperate to prove a point once he returns to action, meaning Derby could soon see the best of the former Liverpool man, which could certainly be useful for them.