Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has stated that ‘there is still a way to go’ until Jack Marriott starts for the Rams after the striker missed a big part of pre-season.
The former Peterborough striker scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday night. Having come off the bench, his effort arched into the top corner in what was a quite stunning finish.
It will be of intrigue as to whether Cocu will choose to put Marriott into the starting lineup when fully fit. Martyn Waghorn has been leading the line for the Rams so far this season, scoring twice – both in a draw with Stoke.
Derby take on West Brom this Saturday, looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference (quotes sourced from the Derby Telegraph), Cocu said: “I think there is still a little way to go.
“Missing a big part of pre-season, it’s tough to catch up because of the danger of getting another injury or dropping back again and being even further behind the others.
“Of course, we want to have him in the team.
“We are working hard, all parties together, to get him in the best shape as soon as possible.”
No doubt that Marriott is a quality striker at this level. He impressed in the play-off semi-final second-leg at Elland Road and was very unlucky not to have started the final.
Lampard and Marriott didn’t seem from the outside to have had the best relationship, and the striker will definitely be looking to improve that with Cocu.
He needs minutes if he’s to score regularly, and that’s what he does. The interest is high from supporters in particular recovery times, but after seeing his goal on Tuesday night, they’ll be wanting him to start as soon as possible.
West Brom may come too soon for the 24-year-old but there’s an excellent opportunity in the Carabao Cup second round against rivals Nottingham Forest.