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Derby Pair Still in Limbo

Four days into the January transfer window, USSoccerPlayers' J Hutcherson again takes a look at the situation at Derby County, where the futures of U.S. national teamers Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber hang in the balance. Coach Paul Jewell, on the job now for less than a month, has repeatedly and publicly stated his desire to bring in new talent in order to save Derby County's season. The club is last in the English Premier League with seven points from 21 games, and has lost its last three games.
 
Bad luck and lapses in concentration at the back are mostly to blame, but Jewell has maintains that a change in personnel would remedy the situation. Following the 2-1 loss to Blackburn on Dec. 30, the manager said: "We're not good enough -- it's as simple as that. The sooner we can try and get some people in here to try and eradicate that, or certainly improve on what we've got, the better team we'll be." He followed up those comments in a letter to the fans that said, "Attention is now well and truly on the January transfer window." As Hutcherson says, "[Jewell is] staying on message like a presidential candidate."
 
Meanwhile, the Derby manager has slowly been giving the American pair more and more minutes. Lewis has started on the left since Jewell's third game in charge, while Feilhaber came on as a second-half sub against Liverpool on Dec. 26 and has now come off the bench in each of the last three games. Has the tide now turned in their favor? Not quite, but the situation is certainly looking better.

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