This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective of the situation at hand…
Ahead of their trip to Elland Road to face Leeds United next weekend, Derby County will be without winger Tom Lawrence through suspension.
The Rams have made a stuttering start to the season, and haven’t picked up a win since their opening day clash with Huddersfield Town at the start of August.
Lawrence put in arguably his best performance in a Derby shirt against the Terriers that night, scoring two goals and playing an influential role in helping Phillip Cocu claim his first win in charge of the club.
But since the win over Huddersfield, Lawrence has been hugely disappointing, along with most of his teammates, with the Wales international failing to register a goal or assist since the encounter at the John Smith’s Stadium.
And after being held to a 1-1 draw against Cardiff on Friday night, frustrations continued to get the better of the attacker, who picked up his fifth booking of the season already – ruling him out of the trip to Elland Road.
This now leaves the door open for another Derby player to step up in Lawrence’s absence, and Jamie Paterson should be quietly licking his lips at the thought of having Lawrence unavailable.
The 27-year-old signed for the Rams on loan from Bristol City on deadline day, and will be desperate to impress during his loan spell at Pride Park after falling out of favour under Lee Johnson at Ashton Gate.
Paterson has failed to make an impact thus far, though, playing around 70 minutes of Championship football after making three league appearances from off the bench.
Cocu is likely to stick with his preferred 4-3-3 formation ahead of the trip to Elland Road, which would give natural left-sided winger Paterson the chance to make a real impact against Leeds this weekend.
Paterson has already come up against Marcelo Bielsa’s side for City this season, with Leeds picking up a 3-1 win on the opening day of the season, so he will know that it will be a tough ask to get anything out of the game.
But if he can use his pace and power on the flanks to full effect, then he could well push himself ahead of Lawrence in the pecking order.
With both Florian Jozefzoon and Mason Bennett flattering to deceive this term, Paterson presents a like-for-like replacement for Derby, and this weekend is his big chance to shine.
This Saturday is far from make-or-break for Paterson by any means, but failing to impress in this massive opportunity is hardly going to propel himself into Cocu’s plans ahead of Lawrence.