STERN JOHN'S return to Coventry City has been delayed after Derby County insisted he sees out his loan spell.

The striker, who has not featured in the Rams' match day squad for the last seven games, was expected back at Coventry on Monday, a week short of completing his three-month stay at Pride Park.

But manager Phil Brown wants him to continue training with the club ahead of their match at Cardiff on Saturday, even though it is highly unlikely that he will feature.

"Stern will be back but not at the moment because Derby are insisting that he sees out his loan which runs out on Saturday," revealed Adams who is keen to have a look at the player to assess his fitness.

"It is not a problem for me but I don't know why they would insist on that bearing in mind they are not picking him.

"Ideally we would like him back, but because we haven't got a game until Monday and the fact that he is training at Derby, I don't see any problems."

Asked if the Trinidad and Tobago international is set to figure in Monday's game at Loftus Road, he added: "We have got a thin squad at the minute so I can't rule anybody out. "Obviously I haven't seen him for three months so I don't know what sort of shape he is in.

"But I will have a look at him when we train on Sunday and decide then. But I would think he will be in the squad."

Derby boss Phil Brown explained: "He is needed for training until Thursday afternoon and if he is not in the squad which travels on Friday he can go back."

Adams will also be assessing the player's state of mind, bearing in mind the fact that his confidence has taken another battering, this time from County fans who booed him early on in his loan which was originally with a view to a permanent move.

"Confidence is a fragile thing but as we have seen with our players, you can get that back very quickly," said Adams.

"Stern is a boy confident in his own ability and I wouldn't imagine it being a problem for him."