Megson in scouting visit

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GARY MEGSON'S appearance at Derby County's 3-2 win over Wimbledon has sparked speculation that he was running the rule over Malcolm Christie, although in-form Dons hit-man David Connolly may also have been under scrutiny.

The West Brom manager was spotted in the Pride Park crowd, witnessing the entertaining encounter, and the likelihood is that he was keeping tabs on a striker.

The Baggies have netted only ten times in 15 Premiership matches this term, the second-lowest in the table, and there has been talk of a dressing room row involving Lee Hughes following the defeat to Everton.

The former Coventry forward has yet to rediscover his best form, and Megson is expected to raid the transfer market in January to bring in a new front-runner for his shot-shy side.

Christie is certainly a genuine contender for a switch back to the top flight during the window, with Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers among his list of admirers.

Cash-strapped Derby need to reduce their wage bill, and are vulnerable to offers for all of their stars, and Christie, who claimed a goal in the Monday night match, will be an obvious target.

However, Megson may also have been checking the form of Republic of Ireland international Connolly, who is in a hot streak in front of goal, at the moment.

The mobile 25-year-old smashed in four goals in the recent victory at Bradford City, and added to his tally with a deft header during the closing stages of the Derby defeat.

Connolly has the added experience of playing in Europe with Feyenoord, and could also be one of the options being considered by Albion chief Megson.