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Derby have endured a stop-start period, seeing their fixture at Rotherham United delayed by 24 hours and a trip to Barnsley postponed at short notice.
Wayne Rooney will feel a sense of frustration having seen his side’s momentum derailed by conceding three late goals in the rearranged against the Millers, ending a run of three 1-0 wins in succession.
With the Rams now sitting in the bottom three, Rooney must find a way to get his squad back on track, a task arguably aided by having an extra period of rest.
Possessing a match in hand and sitting just five points adrift of 16th position, Rooney will not be too concerned that Derby are being put under pressure by many of the teams around them.
Nevertheless, the East Midlands side have made a habit of prevailing in fixtures such as the one on Saturday, and failure to do so on this occasion would inevitably break up what has been a settled starting lineup.
While Derby made five loan additions on deadline day, Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock brought in four players during the final week of the transfer window.