This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Derby County return to Championship action after the international break, with the pressure mounting on manager Phillip Cocu after the Rams return on a run of no wins in five.
The visit of Cardiff City is next up for the Rams on Friday night, and Cocu will be hoping he can secure his first league win since the opening weekend victory over Huddersfield Town in early August.
So should Cocu look to tweak anything ahead of the visit of Cardiff City on Friday night as he tries to get results back on track?
“It’s difficult to say because the last thing he wants to be doing is telling his squad something entirely different to what was the plan toward the back-end of pre-season.
“Maybe he could switch to a back-three or play Krystian Bielik as his holding midfielder alongside Tom Huddlestone; that’d give Derby a little bit more about them defensively.
“In turn, I’d expect that tactic to allow Kieran Dowell and Tom Lawrence a little bit more licence, which is obviously no bad thing.
“However, saying that, you’ve got to remember that Cocu came in at Derby late, and the Rams weren’t expected to hit the ground running. It’ll come good eventually.”
“After starting the 2019/20 campaign in encouraging fashion by beating Huddersfield Town, Derby County have experience somewhat of a slump in form under manager Phillip Cocu.
“Whilst the Rams put up a fight in their defeat to Bristol City last month, their most recent performance against Brentford was simply not good enough.
“Therefore, it may be worth Cocu switching his formation up in order to play two forwards up-front on Friday against Cardiff City as it will illustrate a positive signal of intent to the club’s supporters.
“By adopting a more attacking style of play, Derby could get their season back on track with a confidence-boosting victory over Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds at Pride Park.”
“Not in terms of formation. He has a way of playing and will have bought players to fit that system.
“So, it would be stupid to go completely against your own principles when you’ve had a bad run of five or six games.
“But, there are some other changes he should make. Firstly, having Jayden Bogle back will be a massive boost but the biggest issue appears to be in central midfield.
“The likes of Graeme Shinnie and Duane Holmes should be pushing for a start and Kieran Dowell will be lucky to keep his place. after a very poor spell. Changes in personnel could have a big difference on the team though in what will be a tough game against Cardiff on Friday.”