Derby have been in the hunt for promotion for the last three seasons now, but have failed to reach the Premier League in all three attempts.
The Rams lost in the 2014 play-off final, with Bobby Zamora scoring a heart breaking goal in the dying embers of the game to clinch promotion for QPR.
In 2015, Derby slipped from the Championship’s summit to an 8th placed finish, this led to the sacking of Steve McClaren who was then replaced with Paul Clement. Clement also led Derby to the top of the league, but a poor run of results saw him lose his job, before Darren Wassall oversaw the team’s play-off semi final loss to Hull.
There’s no doubt that next season’s promotion race will be a tough one once again, with Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich being named the early favourites.
There is also Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday who’ll be up there, plus whichever teams unexpectedly rise up the table. But I believe Derby will have another season in which they battle for promotion.
So why will the Rams be promotion contenders under Nigel Pearson?
We have one of the best squads in the division. Despite falling short of going up last season, the talent that Derby have on offer is incredible.
Top players such as Darren Bent and Alex Pearce are 2 players who have Premier League experience but they couldn’t get into the Derby side last season. The squad has 7 recognised central midfielders, all with first team experience.
No doubt Nigel Pearson will want to put his own stamp on things but he has plenty of talent already to work with which will provide solid foundations for an unstoppable team, something not all managers can boast when they first join a club.
Mel Morris will provide financial backing if Pearson is to need it. The Derby owner invested over £20m last season as the Rams added 12 new faces to the squad.
It’s unlikely that Morris will want to spend another £20m this summer, but Derby certainly have the money to outbid other teams to secure the signings they want. It was also Nigel Pearson who brought the likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to Leicester, so hopefully him and his scouting team can find some cheap hidden talent to bring to the iPro Stadium.
In my opinion, Nigel Pearson was the best choice for the managerial position at Derby. Pearson is a no-nonsense character that has proved in his time at Leicester that he can get the best out of his players when it really matters, which is exactly what is needed at Derby.
Under Steve McClaren, Paul Clement and Darren Wassall the team have gone on poor runs of form and have struggled to turn their fortunes around. Pearson is not only a manager who can prevent bad performances, but turn things around and get a quick response from the players if things do go wrong, and that’s exactly what Derby need.
So I agree with Mel Morris that Nigel Pearson is the perfect appointment.
Derby fans… Do you think Nigel Pearson can achieve promotion in his first season? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!