Derby pulled a superb 1-0 win off against West Brom in their last fixture and it meant the side pulled closer to escaping the relegation spots in the Championship.
Ahead of their tie against Stoke, they could land even more points, with boss Wayne Rooney revealing to the Derby Telegraph that several of their players could be back in the running for the fixture.
The Rams are currently rock bottom of the division after having a number of points deductions due to their off-field issues. Despite this, the side are playing some solid football and would be much higher up the table were it not for having points taken from them.
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They held Fulham to a draw, saw off West Brom and bagged three points against Blackpool too, all in their last five Championship fixtures. The club are playing much better than their position suggests and, for their next tie against Stoke, Wayne Rooney could have even more options available to him.
Tom Lawrence is a player who could be in demand when the winter window opens but that doesn’t mean he won’t feature for the club before that – and he could now play a part in the game against Stoke too, with Rooney revealing he is back in contention.
So too is Phil Jagielka, who has been a key part of the side so far this season. With his experience at the highest level, he has been a rock at the back and has played regularly for the side throughout the campaign.
Speaking to the Derby Telegraph about who is available to him, Rooney said: “Jags [Jagielka] was here [at the West Brom game], he has trained the last couple of days as has Kamil [Jozwiak]. Tom Lawrence and Graeme Shinnie will have finished their isolation. Both are available to come in and train on Tuesday and we will analyse and see where they are from a fitness point of view.”
It means the boss should have a wealth of players back available to him for the game – and it could help them pull off yet another superb result in that tie against Stoke.
Wayne Rooney and Derby have been extremely solid so far this season and were it not for the points deductions, it’s likely they wouldn’t even be thinking about relegation this campaign.
Despite the lack of transfer funds and the relative youth of their side, they have played some good football and bagged some superb results. The club pulled off a victory over West Brom – a side in the play-offs – during their last game and are well capable of producing the goods against some of the best teams in the division.
Against Stoke, the club can do similar, especially with several players back available to them. Some of the players who were sidelined were fairly important to Derby, so to have them back will be a boost.
Although Wayne Rooney might not want to change his side much from the one that sealed the 1-0 victory over the Baggies, he could at least have some more options for the bench.