View from Pride Park: Cameron Jerome can help Rams raid at the top

Cameron Jerome celebrates scoring for Derby against Brentford. Picture: Andy Clarke/Derby Telegraph

Cameron Jerome celebrates scoring for Derby against Brentford. Picture: Andy Clarke/Derby Telegraph - Credit: Andy Clarke/Derby Telegraph

Derby fan Tom Walsh is the man in the chair as he answers questions on today's clash between the Rams and Norwich City at Pride Park

Derby boss Gary Rowett. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Derby boss Gary Rowett. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Q So, Cameron Jerome … happy with that signing?

A I was sceptical at first about Jerome – we have a lot of quality forwards at the club and his goalscoring record isn't the best – but that combination of pace and power offers something different to what we've got already, and I think he'll be helpful in the promotion push.

Q And the rest of the window? Kasey Palmer in, Chris Martin, Johnny Russell, Jason Shackell and Darren Bent out seem to be the standout moves. Happy?

A Rams fans are quite sentimental about Chrissy Martin and Johnny Russell – they've both been at the club a while and they've been part of an entertaining team, but I think that they've had their day and there's not really a role for them in the side that Gary Rowett has built. Similarly, Bent and Shackell haven't had a look-in recently and I imagine the club were happy to off-load some high earners from the wage bill. I've not seen much of Kasey Palmer but if he's anywhere near as good as Jordan Ibe or Jesse Lingaard, who both had loan spells with Derby under Steve Maclaren, I'll be happy.

Q Only two defeats in the last 23 league games and you're second in the table – Gary Rowett must be the right man for you?

A In Rowett we trust! He's added some much-needed backbone and resilience to the side. As entertaining as some of the football under Steve McClaren was, you always felt that we would concede goals; under Rowett we've got one of the best defensive records in the league. Some fans moan that the football isn't as pretty as it was under Mac, but our results and position in the table speak volumes about how effective it is.

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Q It's tight up there – can anyone catch Wolves?

A No. I think they have way too much quality and they're too far ahead now to be troubled. I quite fancy the Rams to take three points off them at Molineux though!

Q Your win at Carrow Road started a bad run for City but they've steadied the ship – do you think the play-offs are still on for them?

A It's going to be tough. A lot of teams have come good at the same time. I think Norwich are eight points behind sixth, so they're going to have to go on an amazing run to catch up with the likes of Fulham, Bristol and Cardiff.

Q If you were Gary Rowett, which City player would worry you most?

A James Maddison looks a talent. I think anyone who can score the kind of goals he did against Boro and Reading is going to be a headache for an opposition manager.

Q And still with your Rowett hat on, who would you consider you dangerman?

A The goals have dried up slightly for Matej Vydra since we played Norwich at Carrow Road, but he's a class player and paired with David Nugent, I'd fancy one of the two to net in any game.

Q Last time you were in the hot seat you predicted a 1–1 draw – what about this time, on your own ground?

A I'm a lot more optimistic this time! At the risk of making myself unpopular with your readers I'm going to say 2-0 to the Rams.

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