BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Gary Rowett determined that Derby County’s climb away from the foot of the table does not start at The Den on Saturday.
The Rams are bottom of the standings and have Wayne Rooney in interim charge after the dismissal of Phillip Cocu in the middle of last month.
Rowett played and managed Derby.
The Lions are winless in seven matches although five of those have been draws.
Derby initially had Rooney, Liam Rosenior, Shay Given and Justin Walker all in temporary control of team affairs.
But the former England and Manchester United great has now been put in total charge.
Rowett said: “It’s been a strange period for them – Cocu going and then the three or four coaches being in charge. It’s always quite difficult when a manager leaves, you can do short term but at some point you need some clarity – every club is the same.
“If Wayne Rooney is going to be the manager then make Wayne Rooney the manager and everyone can crack on. If someone else is going to be the manager then it is what it is.
“What I would say is they’ve got some very good players in the squad, good young players as well. Essentially they are a team at some point that are going to start getting some results together.
“We have to do everything we can to make sure that is not this weekend. We need to try and make it a very difficult afternoon for them.
“They are one of my former clubs but it’s not for me to judge their situation and why they are in that situation.”
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