“They do have to be careful because they are giving away goals so so cheaply,” said the 46-year-old former England international. “They have got Tom Ince, but they are missing Chris Martin, who is their talisman…
“They gave a couple of goals just before half time (against Huddersfield), very straightforward goals from set pieces, and that’s not good enough.
“I think that’s why (manager) Steve (McClaren) may be looking and thinking: ‘we need to get the job done’. People just presume Derby are going to make the playoffs, I am not so sure.”
Could Derby County slip up?
Heading into this weekend’s round of matches in the Championship, Derby find themselves fifth in the league table with 76 points from 44 matches.
Steve McClaren’s side need just one to win book their place in the playoffs, and with their final two games being against Millwall away and Reading at home, one would expect them to get the job done.
However, as Hinchcliffe points out, Derby have been conceding far too many goals than they should have.
It is largely due to their problems at the back that the Rams had to relinquish their chances of automatic promotion to the Premier League.
On paper, Derby should win against Millwall at The Den on Saturday, but they were also expected to pick up all three points at Huddersfield - and they did not.
Derby fans should still be optimistic about making the playoffs, but it would be best if the team get the job done this weekend.