Phillip Cocu has been no stranger to chopping and changing his Derby County team this season. Injuries, form and behavioural problems have meant that the Rams team is in constant motion.
Derby, though, managed to record their second win of the season over Birmingham City at the weekend in a dramatic affair at Pride Park stadium. The 3-2 victory ended a run of seven matches without a win. Their last was a narrow 1-0 win to a struggling League Two Scunthorpe United side.
That being said, Cocu has had a lot to deal with and seems to have the backing of the owner Mel Morris and the majority of the supporters.
Cocu will be pleased by the performance and the result given the difficult circumstances surrounding the club and will be very proud of how his 11 players started that game, after having gone 2-0 up after 50 minutes, but should the manager make more changes ahead of their clash with Barnsley tomorrow?
Here are two switches he might want to consider…
Jayden Bogle for Max Lowe
Lowe has done a tremendous job considering this right-back is, by no means, his natural position. Before this season, the youngster hadn’t ever been a regular starter for Derby and had only ever played at left-back.
Naturally left-footed, Lowe struggled, at times, to play down the right-hand side and often got caught out trying to cut inside onto his favoured foot. Derby haven’t scored enough goals from crosses this season and that is largely down to Lowe not being able to constantly drift down the wing and whip in a good ball on his right foot.
Bogle has been injured since the start of the season but made his return to the pitch in the win over Birmingham as a substitute. The wing-back got more assists than any other defender last season and was a huge part of Derby’s attacking threat. If fully fit, his pace and ability on the ball has to be utilised in the trip to Barnsley.
Jack Marriott for Florian Jozefzoon
Nothing would make Derby supporters happier than seeing Chris Martin, Martyn Waghorn and Jack Marriott start together in the same 11. It is possible too. With Jamie Patterson moving out wide, Marriott could easily play the number 10 role, make runs in and around Martin – whose hold-up play is excellent – and get in behind defenders to score goals.
Waghorn has looked solid and continues to score goals from the wide-right position so there would be no reason to move him. With those three top Championship strikers in the team, Derby would definitely manage to score goals – something they have struggled with this season.
Jozefzoon has not been able to impress for Derby under his fellow Dutch manager. Many believed that Cocu would be able to bring the best out of the winger, but it just hasn’t happened. He has just one assists this season.