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The demise of Derby County stalwart continues

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Richard Keogh is playing with the reserves after seemingly losing Gary Rowett’s confidence.

The 31-year-old is still out of favour with Rowett because he played for the U-23s against West Ham, according to The Derby Telegraph. He was initially dropped after the 4-1 Sunderland loss and hasn’t played for the first-team since then.

Keogh has been at Derby since 2012 and was made captain immediately which has been a position he has held since, but a number of recent bad performances convinced Rowett to take him out of the team.

This appeared to work initially with two consecutive victories over Preston and Bolton after the loss to the Black Cats.

However, they have now lost two in a row with the defeat against local rivals Burton unacceptable because the Brewers were bottom of the table coming into the match.

The Verdict

Now might be the right time to bring in Keogh back into the first-team fold because he has the leadership skills needed to help the Rams through this tough spell. He may be prone to the occasional error, but they lacked someone like him in the match against Burton because they lacked the intensity needed to really break through Burton and stifle them from playing.

Regardless, Rowett needs to find a solution and the team needs to show a response to avoid an embarrassing finish to the season. They don’t want to finish outside the play-offs after fighting it for the entire season and spending the majority of their time there.

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