Russell wants chance to ease Derby's attacking dilemma

Derby County star Johnny Russell has urged Steve McClaren to pick him up front against Brighton this evening.

Derby County attacker Johnny Russell has told the Derby Telegraph he feels he’s got what it takes to ease Steve McClaren’s problems up front.

The Rams head into their game against Brighton with Chris Martin and Darren Bent both out of action, which has created the question of how the side will shape-up in attack for the game this evening.

“I’ve played nearly my whole career through the middle - it will be good if I get an opportunity to play through the middle again,” said Russell.

“If that’s the case, hopefully, I can help out and score some goals.”

Russell is an obvious choice to play through the middle of the attack but he could be affected having played predominantly wider at the Rams since he joined the club.

It would be a throw-back to the days before he joined Derby, but McClaren’s hands are tied in terms of the options he has.

He could look to move a centre back further forward to be used as a target man, but that would seem very confusing when considering Russell’s past experience as a striker.

Things are also tense for the club at the top of the table, with games running out as the Rams chase promotion up into the Premier League.

McClaren needs to keep the number of risks he’s taking as small as possible, which is another reason to move Russell into a central attacking position.

Russell’s determination to succeed up front is admirable and the boss has to take advantage of that.

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