Derby loanee's comments expose the worrying weakness in the Rams' squad

Tom Ince has bemoaned Derby County's poor finishing against Brighton in midweek.

Tom Ince's comments on Derby County's official site have rather highlighted the current problem that the side are facing.

The Rams have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, with their midweek defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion particularly disappointing.

Derby lost 2-0 to the South Coast outfit despite dominating the match for large parts and Ince has blamed the defeat on his side's lack of firepower.

"Those who saw the game will tell you that we could have won by four or five goals easily and to come away with no points was disappointing and there was a lot of hurt in the dressing room, but that’s how fine the margins are," he said.

“When you miss the opportunities that we had, you are obviously disappointed, but for us, it is not a case of panicking."

Ince's comments expose the major worry at the iPro Stadium at the moment, as they have no senior striker available to them.

Both Chris Martin and Darren Bent have been ruled out through injury and it is hard to see who is going to put the finishing touches to their patient football with the experienced frontmen both out.

If Martin or Bent had been fit against Brighton, Derby would likely have picked up the three points as they are two of the Championship's most deadly finishers, but without them Steve McClaren faces a problem.

Johnny Russell has the capability to play up front, as does Jamie Ward, but neither are out-and-out centre-forwards and they will not feel totally comfortable there.

With McClaren ruling out the signing of a loan striker this week, Derby will have to find a way to start finding the back of the net or all of their hard work could be undone.

The Rams have been one of the standout teams in the second tier this season, but to be without a striker at such a crucial stage of the campaign could be costly.

Derby have already slipped to second place in the table and they can ill afford anymore slip-ups with Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford among the sides hot on their heels.

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