Derby County will be looking to pick up much-needed points when they return to action this weekend against Middlesbrough.
The Rams were beaten 3-0 by Rotherham United in their last match, before seeing their clash with Barnsley postponed.
It means that Wayne Rooney’s side are currently sat 22nd in the Championship table, and will be hoping they can fire themselves out of the relegation zone at the earliest of opportunities.
Middlesbrough are challenging for a top-six finish in the Championship, so it certainly won’t be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination for the Rams.
But the Derby boss could be without some of his first-team players for the match against Middlesbrough, as he issued an update on his squad.
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of their game against Neil Warnock’s side, Rooney revealed that Tom Lawrence has suffered another injury setback.
The winger has been restricted to 13 appearances in all competitions this season, and will be eager to return to the first-team picture at the earliest of opportunities.
“Tom’s had another setback, and will hopefully be back in training on Monday. It’s a blow, but we’ve got quality players in that position. The challenge for him now is to get back fit, train well and earn his right to get in the team.”
George Edmundson signed for Derby late into the January transfer window, as he arrived on loan from Scottish giants Rangers, but is yet to feature for the Rams.
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Rooney revealed that the defender won’t be available for selection this weekend, but could potentially feature on their match against Wycombe Wanderers in midweek.
“He’s joined in bits of training this week and joined in the full session today for the first time. He won’t be involved on Saturday, but he could be an option on Tuesday. We’ll need to see how he recovers from today.”
Rooney went on to issue an update on Jack Stretton’s fitness heading into the match with Boro, and admitted that he rates the youngster highly.
“He’s been out on the pitch for a while now. He’s not available to fully train, but when he is fit, he’ll train with us. I rate him very highly, so he’ll be another option for us.”
It seems as though Rooney won’t be forced into making too many changes to his starting XI, but there will be players that are pushing for starts in his team, after they were beaten by Rotherham United in their most recent fixture.
January additions Beni Baningime, Patrick Roberts and Lee Gregory are all likely to be keen to prove themselves at their new club, after signing on loan on deadline day.
Rooney will be keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to his starting XI though, as he won’t want to give anything away to Neil Warnock ahead of the match at Pride Park.