Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has revealed that the Rams are set to be boosted by the return to the squad of both Tom Lawrence and Lee Gregory for their meeting with Brentford tonight.
The Rams have been struggling for form in terms of their attacking players over the last few weeks, with Rooney’s side having failed to register a single goal in their last four Championship matches. They have been without the influential figure of Lawrence for the last few months now since he suffered an ankle injury during the goalless draw against Stoke City in December.
Gregory, meanwhile, missed out on the Rams’ meeting with his former club Millwall at the weekend after starting at Barnsley last week. Rooney had revealed to the media that the Stoke City loanee had missed the defeat against his former side due to having an issue with his back. However, he did also add that it was not an issue he felt would keep him out of action for long.
Speaking to the media ahead of tonight’s clash with Brentford, Rooney confirmed that Lawrence is now fit and available to be included in their squad for the first time since mid-December. Whilst he also confirmed that Gregory has also recovered from the issue he was suffering from.
He said: “Tom is fit and available, he’ll be in the squad tomorrow. Lee Gregory will be in the squad tomorrow. The rest is the same, all fit and ready.”
Rooney here. First up the team news: "Tom is fit and available, he'll be in the squad tomorrow. Lee Gregory will be in the squad tomorrow. The rest is the same, all fit and ready."
— Ryan Conway (@RJConway92) March 15, 2021
Derby need all the help they can get at the moment in the final third, so these comments from Rooney are a welcome boost for the Rams. Lawrence’s return, in particular, is vital with the Wales international having that extra bit of quality to hurt teams and makes things happen on the ball when he is at his best.
The attacker has had a bit of a hit and miss campaign this term and he has failed to score or provide an assist in his 13 Championship appearances, although he has averaged 1.2 key passes per game (Sofascore). He should now be a player that is fresh and motivated to perform during the final ten matches of the campaign.
Gregory, meanwhile, has not been able to have too much of an impact since his January arrival from Stoke, with just one goal and one assist in his nine league games for the Rams (Sofascore). The 32-year-old will need to do more now he is back available to potentially put himself in the shop window for when he returns to his parent club in the summer.