Derby County boss Phillip Cocu has provided his verdict on the season-ending injury to Rams captain Richard Keogh and has named Tom Huddlestone as the captain moving forward.
Keogh is understood to have suffered a season-ending knee injury in a car crash that has led to Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence being charged with drink driving.
The 33-year-old joined the East Midlands club in 2012 and was named captain the day after he signed.
He has since gone on to make more than 350 appearances for the Rams and looked set to play an integral part once again in the 2019/20 campaign.
Speaking to BBC Radio Derby, Cocu addressed the situation.
He said: “It is bad news and a bad situation for everybody at the club.”
He added: “I know our fans will support the club, individual mistakes have been made. There will be consequences.
“But the team need to try to win the game on Saturday and the fans will need to support the players on the pitch.”
The Dutchman also revealed that Huddlestone will be the Derby captain moving forward.
Derby face Birmingham City at Pride Park on Saturday and go into the game searching for just their second league win this season.
The Rams have made a poor start to the season under their new manager and are currently 18th in the Championship.
Cocu is bang on here–Keogh’s injury is awful news both on and off the pitch and the whole situation surrounding it is terrible for the club.
You just hope that this incident and the fact that a number of key squad members were involved will not destabilise the side completely moving forward.
The Derby boss is now left with just Curtis Davies, Matt Clarke, and Krystian Bielik as his available centre-backs, with the latter being regularly utilised in midfield this season.
It is going to be interesting to see how he approaches that situation and whether he decides Bielik will need to drop back into defence.