-JW- Posted February 27, 2012 Share Posted February 27, 2012 TOM Naylor is closing in on his first start for Derby County. John Brayford's thigh injury has dealt the Rams a blow at right-back, which in turn has affected the right side of midfield. Paul Green has dropped back to fill in for Brayford in three of the last four games, including the home defeat by Leicester City on Thursday. But manager Nigel Clough says Naylor is pushing for a start when the Rams return to Championship action against promotion hopefuls Birmingham City at St Andrew's on Saturday. "We are looking for solutions from within the squad and we thought very seriously about putting Tom in against Leicester City," said Clough. "If it is not Paul Green, then Tom is getting closer to making his full debut. "He is equally comfortable at centre-half or right-back and so there is a chance he will come in." Naylor joined the Rams on loan from Mansfield Town in November and his move was made permanent in January. His one appearance for the first team came as a substitute in the last few minutes of the FA Cup fourth round tie against Stoke City at Pride Park Stadium last month. The 20-year-old has made half a dozen appearances for the Reserves and the way he has settled in has impressed Clough and the coaching staff. "Tom's done well and so maybe it's time to put him in," said Clough. "We will not know how he copes until we put him out there. "People say he might make a mistake, or whatever, but Greenie was there against Leicester and got done for the goal, so we might not be losing too much if we do stick Tom out there. "It doesn't help when you have someone playing out of position, like Greenie was, and that's where Leicester's goal came from. He got much tighter to Lloyd Dyer in the second half and didn't let him run at him, which is maybe what he should have done in the first half." Naylor came through the youth set-up at Mansfield and made 23 league appearances for the Stags. He also had loan spells at Belper Town and Alfreton Town. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.