George Thorne credited the Derby County board, along with Paul Clement, Sam Rush, Mel Morris and Chris Evans, to Rams Player HD for improving the squad depth prior to his return to pre-season training.
The midfielder admitted he felt like the club lacked strength in depth last season and was one of the major reasons to why the club fell down the league as hard as they did.
When asked about the summer signings, the former West Bromwich Albion midfielder told Rams Player: ''Very impressed. I'm aware of the majority of the players and I've either played with or known them and they are all firm, experienced signings."
''You have to credit the board, the chairman, Sam Rush and Chris Evans for that, and the manager, because what we are getting now is a squad that has strength in depth which we lacked at some points last season."
''It will be competition for places, but I think that is what we need if order to succeed in this league.''
Was Derby’s downfall to do with their strength in depth last season?
Last season, the Rams fell from 1st position to 8th position within nine weeks as they bombed outside the play-off positions on the final day.
The problem wasn’t so much to do with the club’s strength in depth, but the large amount of injuries to a number of key players. For example, prior to the Norwich City game at Carrow Road, it was confirmed that all three senior defensive midfielders were out injured.
Nevertheless, Steve McClaren could still call upon an England under-20 international in Jamie Hanson to play that role, who coincidentally went on to score Derby’s equaliser, so there was the quality in the squad to cover for injuries – just not the quantity of injuries the Rams had.
Derby registered 42 players over the course of last season, which shows just how much squad depth they had, but injuries still ruined their promotion push.
If Clement can keep a better check on his players’ fitness next season than his predecessor then it should be enough to see the Rams into the promotion picture.