SHAY Given believes Derby County can work their way into the promotion positions and expects games to resume in the Sky Bet Championship.
Given is the goalkeeping coach at Derby, who are five points off the play-off spots and nine away from an automatic promotion place.
“We still don’t have an actual date when the season is going to start,” Given said in an interview with Off The Ball.
“We’ll have to go through a pre-season again. We don’t have a date to work towards for the players or for the team.
“Safety has to be taken into consideration. Every football fan wants the season to finish.”
Derby have recovered following a slow start to the season, but Given pointed to the losses of Mason Mount, Harry Wilson and Fikayo Tomori last summer. Mount and Wilson had netted 29 goals between them in the 2018/19 season.
Given said: “Take those three out of the team and any team will struggle in the Championship.
“We didn’t start so well. We had a slow start. Wayne Rooney made a big difference with his experience and his quality. We were on a good run and in good form. If you can do that leading into the play-offs, anything is possible. We’ve still got aspirations to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.”
The addition of former Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney to the ranks has given the Rams a real lift.
“f you see him train now, he’s probably the first out there and the last in as well,” Given said of Rooney.
“I know people say that about a lot of players but genuinely he just wants to keep improving and become better.
“What that does is it filters down through the team and the squad. The young players are thinking ‘if Wayne Rooney is out there practicing his finishing or practicing free kicks or practicing his delivery on set-pieces, then I’m not going in early. I’m going to go out after him.’
“He’s had an amazing career and that’s why, it’s not by luck. You need the talent, of course you do, but it’s not by being last out onto the pitch and first to leave, you have to work hard at it.
“He’s done that throughout his career and for me as a coach now it’s quite refreshing to see him out there wanting to borrow a keeper to do some extra finishing or do some set plays or get a keeper for free-kicks over the wall.”Tags: