Gary Rowett wants his players to put on a show for Derby County’s supporters at Pride Park Stadium in the coming days.The 43-year-old, appointed as Derby’s new manager earlier this month, is gearing up for his first home game in charge of the Rams against Queens Park Rangers in the Sky Bet Championship on Friday evening.
Following the clash against Ian Holloway’s side, Derby will welcome Fulham to town on Tuesday night for another fixture under the Pride Park floodlights.
Rowett has sent out a message to his troops to make things happen on the pitch, by being aggressive in both their attacking and defensive work.
He told RamsTV: “In any home game, of course, we want to put a positive performance in.
“We want to try and make things happen and be as aggressive as we can be in our attacking and defending.
“It all sounds great in theory and we need to go out and do it.
“As always, it is about us and what we do and from each of the games we will probably learn different things.
“With us having games on Friday, Tuesday and then Saturday, it might give us an opportunity to look at one or two different areas with different players.”
Assessing the opponents Derby will face over the coming days, he added: “Queens Park Rangers, in some ways, will be a bit more physical and Ian Holloway has set them up really well with lots of energy.
“They have threats with the likes of Smith, Washington, Sylla and Mackie.
“It is a different type of game to our last one so we might need a different type of approach.
“Fulham will be more possession-based because that’s how they play.”
Rowett oversaw his first match in charge of Derby just under two weeks ago.
Just a few days after his appointment, he was stood in the technical area overseeing the Rams in action at East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw, with Forest striking late to earn a share of the spoils and Rowett saw positives and negatives from his side’s performance across Brian Clough Way.
One thing that became apparent over the course of the 90 minutes is that the Derby boss is not afraid to make tactical changes, if things are not going to plan.
Looking back on the game at the City Ground, he said: “I think the same things that pleased me also disappointed me.
“We didn’t pick the right times to come out of our positions and press the ball, but perhaps that was down to the information that I gave.
“From my point of view they followed the information and didn’t want to go away from it but perhaps too much.
“What pleased me, though, was the response in the second half. What we tend to do is not wait too long to change things and we did that at half time.”
He added: “We’ll always look to change when we can and give a different message if possible. We felt we had done the controlled defensive shape in the first half so, in the second half, we wanted to come out of that and put them under pressure.
“We looked far more comfortable and with better game management, which we will learn along the way, we would have won it. We were disappointed with the end goal but, like I said before the match, we have to learn about the players.”
Touching on learning about his players, Rowett has been in a similar sort of process before in management from his time at Burton Albion and Birmingham City.
Recalling his early time in charge of the Brewers in 2012, taking over a side battling against relegation in League 2, Rowett had to learn quickly.
He feels that, in some cases, taking disappointments on the chin can be used as a positive experience further down the line as he assesses what is required for the future.
He said: “It was a similar situation when I took over at Burton.
“Had we won all of those games I wouldn’t have made some of the critical changes to strengthen the team the season after.
“We actually ended up losing a few of those games badly and we learned more about the squad, as winning can mask over some of the issues.
“Any game, is about learning what we need moving forward as we might need to take a few disappointments, like that late goal at Forest, on the chin.”
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