Duo battling for chance to strike out at Riverside
THEO Robinson and Nathan Tyson are in the frame to replace injured striker Jamie Ward when Derby County tackle Middlesbrough tomorrow night.
Top scorer Ward faces three to four weeks out with a damaged hamstring.
He suffered the injury in Sunday's victory over Nottingham Forest leaving a place up for grabs against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Robinson, last season's joint top scorer, has yet to start in the League this season.
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Tyson has started two of the eight Championship fixtures but he has not featured since he appeared as a substitute in the draw at Wolves five weeks ago.
Nigel Clough says losing Ward is a blow but the manager added: "It could have been worse.
"It is not a six, seven or eight-week job.
"We think it will be something like three or four weeks and we are optimistic that he might even be available for the game against Blackburn after the international break."
Ward will also miss Saturday's home game against Brighton & Hove Albion but a two-week international break follows before the Rams face Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park on October 20.
"The break is a bit of a blessing for Wardy given the injury," said Clough.
"He has had a good run in the side.
"He has been playing well and scoring goals.
"He has started the eight league games.
"We want him in there but it's important we make sure he is right before he returns."
Ward's injury opens the door for another of the strikers.
"Theo and Nathan are chomping at the bit," said Clough.
"Nathan wants to get on the pitch and Theo is doing very well when he comes on.
"We made a point to the lads after the Forest game that you don't win even games now, never mind go through a season, with 11 men. At Forest, we needed 14 players to get us the result.
"The squad will be vitally important over the course of the season."