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Sky Sports pundit issues Derby County warning ahead of season in League One

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Former Championship striker turned Sky Sports pundit Neil Mellor believes earning promotion will be a difficult task for Derby County next season.

The Rams had their relegation to the third tier confirmed on Monday afternoon.

The concession of a late winner against QPR and Reading’s late equaliser against Swansea City combined to mathematically condemn Wayne Rooney’s side to League One.

And Mellor believes that bouncing straight back will not be easy for the club, especially given their off-field issues.

The 39-year old has highlighted the difficulty Sheffield United faced when they were relegated to League One many years ago.

Mellor has claimed that it could take years before the club is able to prosper again, which could include several changes of manager, and the complete resolution of their financial problems.

“I think they’ll find it very tough, the best example to compare it to would be Sheffield United,” said Mellor, via OLBG.

“It took them six seasons to get out of the third tier of English football under Chris Wilder.

“They had to change managers a few times to get there, and I look at Derby County right now and it’s not a settled place at the moment.

“Until they resolve things off the pitch, then it’s difficult to see where they’re going to be.

“I can’t see Derby getting the good times back until that happens in the immediate future.

“It’s a worry for Derby because they don’t know if there will be more points deductions, they’ve got no idea what the squad will look like.

“Some of their assets might be taken away, so I fear for Derby next season.” 

While Mellor does see the potential in the club to rise once again, he insists that a quick fix next season will be incredibly unlikely.

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Instead of fighting to gain promotion instantly, the Sky Sports pundit believes that Derby will need to reset and stabilise the club once again.

“I don’t think they’ll have an immediate return; I think it’ll be about stabilising the club, keeping them in League One and once the new ownership is in place, then they can start to build the club back up,” added the former Preston striker.

“League One is a tough division when you look at the teams: Ipswich, Portsmouth, Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland, Bolton and Charlton; there’s a lot of big football clubs in there.

“Derby are not settled enough to mount a challenge, but the summer will dictate a difference at the start of the season.”

The Verdict

Mellor strikes the right tone in that there are still a lot of concerns surrounding the club’s immediate future.

Even if an owner is placed in the club immediately, there will still be financial issues that need to be sorted, as well as the future of every player and the manager.

While the team did remarkably well to almost achieve an unlikely escape from relegation, the consistency required for promotion will be a totally different challenge.

So much needs to be overhauled at Derby that it is hard to see how the team bounces back immediately next season.


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Sky Sports pundit issues Derby County warning ahead of season in League One

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