Derby County began life in the post Phillip Cocu era with a 1-0 defeat at Bristol City.

The Rams, bottom of the Championship table, departed ways with Cocu after a run of just one league win in 11 games while only managing to find the net five times.

Wayne Rooney and Liam Rosenior have taken temporary charge as part of a management team.

The duo spoke about some changes before the trip to Ashton Gate, and there were notably more forward passes, forward runs and a higher press.

On the flip side, however, there was still a lack of quality in the final third as Derby fired another blank. Here, we look at three players who appeared revigorated.

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

Max Bird:

Max Bird came back into the midfield at the expense of Graeme Shinnie.

The Derby academy graduate broke through last season. However, he became a victim of the change to a more defensive back three system under former manager Phillip Cocu.

The Rams returned to a back four at Ashton Gate, providing more fluidity.

Bird was arguably the best player on the pitch before his substitution in the 80th minute, posting three key passes and averaging an impressive 91.3% pass accuracy rate.

The 20-year-old will be looking to feature on a regular basis in Derby’s midfield again.

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

Andre Wisdom:

Andre Wisdom was another who came back into the starting eleven.

 

The £4 million 2017 signing was another who found himself out the first team as Cocu changed system in order to shore up Derby’s defence earlier this season.

Wisdom can play at both right-back and in central defence.

Many expected Curtis Davies to start at Ashton Gate, but Wisdom was given the nod and he looked to play far more forward passes compared to previous performances.

Wisdom defended well, with the hosts rarely threatening down their left.

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images).

Wayne Rooney:

Wayne Rooney’s role in the side was always going to raise questions.

Many supporters felt he has been below par this season, contributing very little aside from his excellent free-kick late on in Derby’s only win of the season at Norwich City.

But in a deeper midfield role, he was far more involved and influential at Ashton Gate.

Rooney topped the passing charts with 116 touches, a 94.1% pass-accuracy rate while notching four key passes to help create arguably Derby’s best chances.

The former Manchester United man also topped Derby’s tackling stats with four.

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

Have something to tell us about this article?