Derby County manager Phillip Cocu says Krystian Bielik was taken off as a precaution with important games coming up as he provides an injury update, RamsTV report.

Bielik was on the receiving end of a dangerous lunge from George Saville in the first half.

(Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images).

The Middlesbrough midfielder received a straight red card. Bielik, meanwhile, appeared like he was set to come off, but he shook it off and made it until half time.

Cocu, however, soon replaced the Poland international early in the second period before telling RamsTV his decision was influenced by the upcoming run of games.

I think it’s ok. He had a little bit of pain still in his ankle, but he could go on in the second half. He had one more hit in his hip or thigh. I didn’t want to take any chances with a lot of games coming up, so it was good to get him off and a good moment for George Evans.

Krystian Bielik proves his worth in Derby’s midfield:

Derby went on to beat Middlesbrough 2-0 with Tom Lawrence scoring twice.

The Rams have now racked up four straight wins at Pride Park. Their home form is excellent, and now it’s time to replicate that on the road where they have struggled.

Bielik was excellent during the first half as the holding midfielder. He posted an impressive six tackles, and he enjoyed a good understanding with Graeme Shinnie.

Cocu will be desperate for his £10 million summer signing to make a swift recovery. Next week, Derby have the little matter of an away fixture at rivals Nottingham Forest.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images).

A run of games against top six hopefuls Forest, Preston North End and Fulham will be a big test for the Rams. Cocu will need his key players fit and on top form.

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