EFL pundit, Andy Hinchcliffe, has stated that Derby are not as strong as last season after a poor start to the campaign has seen them pick up just one victory.
The Rams sit 19th in the Championship table and host Cardiff City on Friday night as they look to return to winning ways.
Manager, Phillip Cocu, watched his side get thrashed at Brentford before the international break, as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0.
He’ll be hoping he can turn things around, and reproduce some of the results that former boss, Frank Lampard, was able to achieve last season.
Speaking to the EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe said: “I wouldn’t say it’s that bad at the moment. There was always going to be pressure on Phillip Cocu of course, the stature of the appointment, the type of coach he is, I think it was always going to be a bit difficult for him.
“They’ve lost a couple of key players in Mason Mount and Harry Wilson, so again, the personnel isn’t as strong as it was last season. Their first choice full-backs have been injured as well and it seems as though he needs to really find the right formula as quickly as he can.
“I think it’s fair to say that this season, Derby are not as strong as last.”
He obviously needs time, and Hinchcliffe doesn’t hide away from the fact that they’re just not as good as last season.
Cocu has a big game on Friday night, another loss will really pile the pressure on his reign at Pride Park and cracks may begin to appear early on.
It’ll be a tough game against Neil Warnock’s side but a win could do all sorts for confidence, especially if they were able to do it in front of their own crowd.