Derby head into Sunday’s clash at the DW Stadium against Wigan with the bonus of players coming back from injury and one new face in the squad.
Jeff Hendrick, Mark O’Brien and James Bailey are edging towards staking a claim for a team place and Michael Keane has arrived on loan from Manchester United.
Keane is a centre half and spent much of last season on loan to Leicester City. Judging by the tweets from Foxes fans he made quite a positive impact there too.
He is another England Under 21 player added to the Derby squad, joining Will Hughes and Andre Wisdom, and there’s nothing like seeing young talent perform for your side.
Keane could make his debut facing his twin brother Will, who has joined Wigan on loan from Manchester United. Will is a striker so there is the prospect of a great family battle.
One thing that Steve McClaren has shown is that he is tweaking the side rather than make wholesale changes. He has been able to fill some holes in the side and made improvements rather than wholesale changes.
Wigan themselves are probably under performing and will be looking to make their move up the championship table. It’s not going to be an easy task for the Rams, however as they have shown in the last few fixtures, a positive attitude can reap rewards.
The appointment of Chris Evans into the more technical role of agreeing terms and conditions of players identified by the head coach frees Steve to get on with what he is known to be good at and that’s coaching.
There’s no doubting Steve’s credentials in that department. A glowing reference to him is in Sir Alex Ferguson’s new autobiography and there was also a great piece in on of the monthly magazines by Gary Neville.
I expect that an unchanged side may be announced, however, Keane hasn’t joined to bench warm and he may be brought straight in. Let’s hope for another successful away day and three more points.