Derby County manager Phillip Cocu suggests Graeme Shinnie must work on the tactical side of the game before he can feature regularly for the first team, the Derby Telegraph report.

Shinnie joined the Rams this summer after leaving Aberdeen at the end of his contract. The former Bristol City man agreed to sign for Derby under previous manager Frank Lampard.

Since Phillip Cocu’s arrival, Shinnie has made just one start for Derby and that came in the Carabao Cup. He was left out of the 18-man squad altogether for the recent trip to Stoke City.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images).

Speaking to reporters ahead of Derby’s midweek clash with City, Cocu suggests Shinnie has the ability in his locker. However, the midfielder still has work to do on the training ground before getting the call.

Shinnie wasn’t signed by me, that’s true. He is playing with the under-23 and he just has to work a little bit longer with me and with my staff to find the right way to work together. He has his qualities, but we have a lot of players with good qualities. That is why there is competition inside the team.

Where will Graeme Shinnie look to feature in Derby’s first team XI?

Shinnie can play at either left-back or in midfield. During pre-season, he featured largely in a midfield three and was handed the role of linking the midfield and attack.

But in each Championship fixture so far, Cocu opted to play two holding midfielders in Tom Huddlestone and George Evans. The former PSV Eindhoven boss seemingly wants to make Derby solid first and foremost.

New signing Krystian Bielik will likely start to feature as the regular holding midfielder. Everton loan star Kieran Dowell is more attack-minded and plays as a number 10, leaving Shinnie to fight for that linking role.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images).

The Scot has competition from the currently injured Duane Holmes and academy prospect Jason Knight. And on evidence so far, it seems Knight could already be ahead of him in the pecking order.

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