Derby County travel to Bristol City in the first game following Phillip Cocu’s exit.

The Rams are currently bottom of the Championship table, having won just one of their 11 league games to date while only managing to find the net five times.

Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior are part of a coaching team in temporary charge, and this weekend could act as an audition for the two figures keen to move into management.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Questions will be raised over Rooney’s involvement on the pitch ahead this weekend.

Here is our predicted XI with the former England top scorer dropping out.

David Marshall remains in goal, while Derby will move back to a back four having switched to a back three under Phillip Cocu to help shore up defensive frailties.

The Rams have several centre-backs on their books. But Matt Clarke is a shoo-in while Curtis Davies may be best to deal with the threat of former Rams striker Chris Martin.

Rooney, should he focus on the coaching aspect, would be wise to drop out and his absence creates an opportunity to bring back Max Bird.

The Derby academy graduate was a victim of Cocu’s change in system.

Krystian Bielik returns in midfield to replace Graeme Shinnie, while Republic of Ireland ace Jason Knight retains his place after making his international debut this past week.

Derby will look to their front three of Kamil Jozwiak, Tom Lawrence and Martyn Waghorn to provide the goals, and they make look more dangerous with a higher press.

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

It remains to be seen what changes to playing style will be made. But it seems this Derby team has so far played with the handbrake on. The shackles need removing.

A higher press, better fitness levels and extra willingness to attack would go a long way.

Also see: Report: Striker wanted by Derby and Cardiff likely already played his last game for top-flight club

Also see: ‘Successful year’: International paper lauds £3.5m Derby ace as 2020 breakout star

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