Could Bent's injury force McClaren to take this gamble against Brighton?

Derby County stadium entrance

Darren Bent's injury at Fulham could force Steve McClaren to think outside the box with his attack.

The Derby Telegraph has reported uncertainty surrounding the fitness of striker Darren Bent after he limped off during the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham over the weekend.

Chris Martin is out of action and with Johnny Russell only just back from an injury problem of his own, manager Steve McClaren is facing a difficult dilemma over what to do ahead of the Championship clash against Brighton.

One change McClaren could make as a temporary solution, could be to play defender Jake Buxton in a centre forward type role.

Buxton is experienced in terms of physical duels and trying to get the better of opponents and he’d be a good match up against Brighton’s centre backs.

It’s a gamble because he doesn’t have much experience as centre forward. However, he does have the physical attributes to give the Brighton back four some problems.

He could hold the ball up effectively, while looking to bring others into the game. Brighton showed with the way they played against Leeds United in their 2-0 win, how difficult they can make it for sides that like to play neat pass and move football.

Derby have a midfield which is packed with talent in terms of players who can get on the ball and be creative through the middle of the team.

It’s also a gamble considering the pressure the Rams are under as they chase promotion into the Premier League.

The defeat at Fulham is a setback, which allowed the club’s rivals for promotion to gain ground on them over the weekend.

However, they remain in a good position at the top of the table and McClaren can use the determination of their rivals chasing after them to stress the need for Rams to give everything in every game regardless of the circumstances.

Johnny Russell would be a safe bet up front, but with him lacking a little fitness having started the last game on the bench, Buxton through the middle of the attack could be an effective surprise, which pays off.

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