Derby County striker David Nugent could have played his final game for the club after admitting to the Rams' YouTube Channel that an injury sustained against Leeds United in the first leg will rule him out of the play-off final.
“No, nowhere near,” Nugent responded when asked if he will be fit to play at Wembley.
“I’ve got a bit of a bother from the first leg but come Wembley I’ll be there cheering on the lads. I can’t wait for it now. Villa in the final, we owe them for last time with the 4-0 drubbing. But I’ll tell you now, it won’t be the same again. Hopefully we can put on a surprise and get into the Premier League.”
Nugent was a surprise choice in the first leg at home to Leeds United after Martyn Waghorn was ruled out with injury. He lasted just over an hour before being replaced by Jack Marriott in the 1-0 defeat.
The one-capped England international didn’t make the squad for the return leg at Elland Road. Instead, he was among the Derby supporters in the away end as the Rams pulled off an incredible 4-2 (4-3 on aggregate) win.
Nugent is an immensely popular figure at Pride Park. However, with his contract running out at the end of the season, it’s unlikely Derby will offer him a new deal regardless of what league they are in next season.
Marriott, Waghorn, Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence can provide options upfront for the Rams while manager Frank Lampard may wish to bolster his attacking options with another player or two this summer.
Nugent’s has struggled for form this season, managing just two goals in 32 Championship appearances.
The former Middlesbrough man will be aggrieved at not having the chance to fire Derby back to the Premier League when they face Aston Villa at Wembley although that won’t affect his support for his fellow teammates.
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