After a horrific start to the season which cost Phillip Cocu his job, things are looking up on and off the pitch for Derby County.
The Rams are unbeaten in six games and whilst they are still inside the relegation zone, they’re beginning to look solid again under Wayne Rooney’s caretaker management.
Rooney wants the job on a permanent basis, but he will probably have to wait until the takeover of the club by Bin Zayed International is complete, but he’s surely in the running after recent performances.
January could be one of the biggest months in Derby’s recent history, with fresh funds coming into the club and a big transfer window to navigate.
It’s not all about new signings and takeovers though – let’s look at two things that could change at Pride Park next month.
A new centre back
When Curtis Davies went down with a season-ending achilles injury against Brentford, County’s depth at the back looked pretty thin indeed.
With summer signing Mike te Wierek unfancied by Rooney and co, it’s left them with just Matt Clarke and Andre Wisdom to choose from, with George Evans and Craig Forsyth also able to play there as secondary positions.
But a fresh centre back option will surely be one of the top targets for whoever is in charge come January – and Phil Jones is a big name who has been linked with a reunion with Rooney in Derbyshire.
The reintroduction of Jack Marriott
We have no idea what kind of funds Bin Zayed International will pump into the club, let alone if the takeover will be completed for definite, so with County having just two senior striking options available, Jack Marriott may be given another chance.
Marriott was a 2018 signing from Peterborough and was a key figure in his first season, but under Cocu he struggled for regular playing time and was shipped out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday at the start of this season.
He’s been troubled by injury again though but once he’s fit again, Rooney (or another man who may end up being in charge) may want to give him another chance.