Derby County could move into loan market as they wait on fitness of striker Jamie Ward
NIGEL Clough has not ruled out the possibility of dipping into the loan market to boost Derby County's attacking options.
Derby could be facing another spell without top scorer Jamie Ward, whose hamstring tightened again in the first half of Friday's defeat by Crystal Palace.
The Rams are waiting for an assessment on the injury to Ward, who was sidelined for three months with a torn hamstring earlier this season.
They are already without Theo Robinson and Nathan Tyson.
Both strikers are out on loan, although they can recall Robinson after his first month at Huddersfield.
Derby are without a win in six and have scored only three goals in their last five matches.
Ward has been used up front this season but he started on the left of a four-man midfield against Palace. He limped off shortly before half-time and was replaced by Michael Jacobs.
When asked about the loan market, Clough said: "It's a possibility, to help us up front.
"Mason Bennett did well when he came on, so maybe we'll look for a wide player as well now that Jamie might be out."
Bennett, still only 16, has impressed with his positive contributions in his appearances as a substitute in the last two games against Watford and Palace.
Derby have made only one loan signing this season, the recent capture of striker Chris Martin from Norwich City, initially for a month.
Martin made his debut as a second-half substitute at Watford and his first start in a Rams shirt was against Palace at Pride Park.
Clough was pleased with Martin's display and some supporters booed the manager's decision to take the player off in the closing stages.
"It was a very good full debut," said Clough.
"It was also his first start for about six weeks, so it's a bit bizarre when you get a bit of stick for taking him off when he's shattered after 80 minutes but that's the way it goes."