Derbyshire head coach Dave Houghton says the Midlands county have the basis of a promotion-winning team in 2019.
However, the former Middlesex batting coach, returning to Derbys for his third spell on the coaching staff, believes there needs to be greater squad depth to make it all come good.
"We've got a very good core of eight or nine and we get the opportunity to build around that with good signings, overseas players and youngsters coming through," said Houghton.
"We've got to make sure there's a decent sized squad to effectively compete on all three fronts.
"Coming to face Derbyshire with Middlesex this summer, they played fantastically against us. If that team could have continued and been strong enough to play like that all the way through they would have been promoted.
"But there wasn't the support and they ran out of steam. They were always there competing, but I think it was clear they just ran out of a bit of puff.
"We will look at a couple of loanees, but we need to up-skill our youngsters. If you recruit you can often block the path for youngsters and we've got some good youngsters coming through."
Derbys are yet to secure an overseas player for next summer, but they reacted to the loss of Ben Slater to Nottinghamshire by tying Wayne Madsen to a long-term deal, while the return to fitness of Luis Reece following an injury-hit 2018 sis also a bonus.
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