Derby Wayne Rooney

Meet the opposition | Derby County

7th February 2020
First team

 As Swansea City prepare to face Derby County, we take a closer look at the Rams.

What’s their story?

Yan Dhanda

The Rams have been in the Championship since a record-low Premier League points tally of 11 saw them fall into the second tier at the end of the 2007-08 campaign.

They have made four play-off appearances since, with their most recent seeing them miss out on promotion to the top-flight in May as they lost the Wembey final to Aston Villa.

Derby claimed their sole FA Cup victory after the second World War in 1946, when they were 4-1 winners over Charlton Athletic.

The East Midlands side also have two First Division titles to their name, with successes in 1971-72 and 1974-75 coming with Brian Clough and Dave Mackay at the helm respectively.

How’s their form?

Derby Martyn Waghorn

On the up. Derby’s 4-0 crushing of Stoke last weekend extended a good run of form that has seen them lose just one of their last seven Championship games.

Four of those have been victories, while they also knocked Crystal Palace and Northampton out of the FA Cup.

Prior to this sequence, the Rams had been winless in seven but the arrival of a certain Wayne Rooney has lifted morale and fortunes.

Who’s the boss?

Phillip Cocu

Phillip Cocu. Following Frank Lampard's departure to take over at Chelsea, the Rams moved to bring in former PSV, Barcelona and Holland midfielder Cocu.

A stylish playmaker during his playing days, the 48-year-old moved into coaching in 2008, joining the youth coaching staff at PSV and soon became assistant coach of the national side and was part of the set-up that reached the 2010 World Cup final.

He also became assistant manager at PSV and - having had a spell in caretaker charge in 2012 - was eventually promoted to the top job following Dick Advocaat's departure in 2013.

He wasted little time making an impact and led the Eindhoven side to a first league title in seven years when they ended Ajax's dominance in 2015.

Further titles followed in 2016 and 2018, before an ill-fated move to Fenerbahce that saw Cocu dismissed after just four months in Turkey.

Who are the key men?

Derby Wayne Rooney

Wayne Rooney’s arrival from DC United generated a lot of column inches when it was announced back in August, and the former Manchester United and Everton forward has wasted little time making an impact.

He has three goals and two assists to his name already, including a lovely free-kick in that win over Stoke.

Martyn Waghorn has topscored for the Rams with nine goals to his name this term, while Wales international Tom Lawrence has five goals and two assists to his name.

They have the experience of Tom Huddlestone to call on in the middle of the park, but are without record signing Krystian Bielik for the rest of the season after the defender suffered a serious knee injury.