Steve McClaren reveals key Derby star could return for Leeds clash

Derby County head coach Steve McClaren has said that Jamie Ward could return for the Championship clash against Leeds United.

Derby County could welcome back Jamie Ward as they look to exact revenge on Leeds United following their 2-0 loss at Elland Road in November. 

The Rams travelled to Leeds in good spirits and good form following a run of three wins on the bounce, but came away from the game against the Yorkshire club without a point, a goal or even a shot on target.

Since then, the East Midland outfit have seen a wobble in form and, if they fail to pick up maximum points against Birmingham City on Boxing Day, could host Leeds having not won in four matches. Therefore, the return of the tenacious forward could not have been timed much better. 

Speaking to the Derbyshire Telegraph, the Rams' head coach said: ''Wardy is getting closer. He may be involved in the game against Leeds United [30th December]."

Before his injury, the Northern Ireland international was arguably in the best form of his career, netting an impressive five goals with two assists in 11 matches.

Judging by Derby's form since his injury, it's not hard to see why the fans rate the diminutive wide man as one of the best in the division. 

Derby's record with Jamie Ward in the 2014/2015 Championship season: 
Played - 12
Won - 7
Drawn - 4
Lost - 1 
Goals scored - 24
Goals conceded - 9
Win rate - 58.3%
Loss rate - 8.3%

Derby's record without Jamie Ward in the 2014/2015 Championship season:
Played - 10
Won - 4
Drawn - 2
Lost - 4
Goals scored - 16
Goals conceded - 14
Win rate - 40%
Loss rate - 40%

As seen by the statistics above, manager McClaren will be itching to see the long-serving forward back into the starting line-up, and given the result and performance against Leeds last time out, the meeting at the iPro Stadium could offer the perfect platform. 

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