Former Derby County striker Cameron Jerome has told The Sun how he doesn’t feel Frank Lampard’s side will win promotion this season.
The former Birmingham City man was signed by Lampard’s predecessor Gary Rowett in January 2018. He joined the Rams on an 18-month deal, tasked with helping the Midlands side to promotion to the Premier League.
Jerome managed to score in the playoff first-leg victory over Fulham, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. A 2-0 second-leg defeat saw Derby’s promotion dreams end, and with it a big turn of events.
Rowett departed to join Championship rivals Stoke City, and new manager Lampard joined with the idea of a culture change at Pride Park. Lowering the average age of the squad was a top priority.
Jerome, despite having only joined six months earlier, was a top candidate to be sold. The 32-year-old wasn’t allowed to join a direct leave rival, so Jerome ended up moving abroad with Turkish side Goztepe.
But the striker has kept tabs on his former club. When asked by reporters whether he believes the Rams will go one better than last season, Jerome admitted he couldn’t see it happening.
“I can’t see it at the minute, the games I’ve seen recently there are too many teams stronger than them. I’m not being bitter, just being honest, they could be an outsider for the play-offs, and it gets harder every year.”
Derby County’s fight for promotion:
The Championship appears to be stronger this season. Teams like Norwich City, Leeds United and Sheffield United have improved immensely. Moreover, the fight for the playoffs seems much tighter.
Derby currently find themselves down in eighth position, one point behind the top-six with a game in hand. However, playoff rivals Aston Villa and Preston North End are in much better form.
Lampard’s side’s next game is a must-win clash at home to Rotherham United. After that, they face back-to-back away games at Brentford and Blackburn Rovers.