Derby County will be looking to bounce back from their recent defeat at the hands of Birmingham City by delivering an encouraging performance against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow.
After picking up six points from their opening five league games, the Rams would have been hoping to seal a positive result at St Andrew’s last Friday.
However, despite having 67% of the ball during this fixture, Derby were unable to break Birmingham down as goals from Scott Hogan and Jeremie Bela secured all three points for the hosts.
Although Rooney doesn’t have an abundance of options to choose from, he may decide to make some alterations to his squad for his side’s meeting with West Brom on Tuesday.
Here, we take a look at TWO tweaks that the Derby boss could make to his starting eleven at The Hawthorns…
Jason Knight is handed his first start of the season
After showing some real signs of promise for Derby last season, Jason Knight picked up an unfortunate injury ahead of the current term which was caused by a challenge by Rooney in training.
Having now recovered from this particular issue, Knight made his return to action as a substitute in the Rams’ defeat to Birmingham.
An energetic midfielder who is capable of influencing the pattern of games, the Republic of Ireland international could be given the chance to impress against a West Brom side who are currently top of the Championship standings.
If Rooney is looking to be more compact in this fixture, Knight could be drafted in as a replacement for Ravel Morrison.
Alternatively, the midfielder may replace Max Bird if the Rams are looking to utilise Morrison’s creativity.
Ryan Allsop is given the opportunity to prove himself in the Championship for the Rams
Although Kelle Roos has managed to illustrate some glimpses of promise for Derby this season, his performance against Birmingham left a lot to be desired.
Partially at fault for the Blues’ opening goal due to the fact that he was unable to react to Lee Buchanan’s poor back pass, the Dutchman also struggled with his kicking at St Andrew’s.
If Rooney is looking to alter his side tomorrow, he may decide to give Ryan Allsop the opportunity to prove his worth at Championship level for the Rams.
Having already made two appearances for Derby in the League Cup this season, Allsop will be determined to become the club’s first-choice shot-stopper by delivering the goods in the second-tier.
Providing that he is handed the chance to feature against West Brom, it will be fascinating to see whether the 29-year-old is able to make a positive impression at this level.