Manager Phillip Cocu knows Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Stoke City will be a tough encounter, despite the hosts yet to pick up a point so far this season.

The Rams travel to the Bet365 Stadium to take on the Potters this weekend and look to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Stoke, in contrast, have not enjoyed the best of starts to their Championship campaign, losing their opening two games, however, they did taste victory on Tuesday night in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

And Rams boss Cocu does not believe their early season form will reflect on tomorrow’s game.

“I expect a tough game,” he told RamsTV. “They haven’t won in the league, but they have won in the cup.

“They are used to two ways of playing, two different systems and we have to be prepared. It won’t be an easy game.”

It’s been a busy start to the season and it’s only set to continue as the Rams face three league games over a seven-day period.

The trip to Stoke kicks off that hectic schedule and the manager believes the squad will need to be ready in order to compete.

“You always try to think ahead to games in the schedule and the amount of games we play,” Cocu said. “For some players it is good to show themselves.

“In the first game for Bielik, of course we know why we bought him, but to play a real game in this position it is good to see how he did.

“Also, Curtis Davies played 90 minutes for the first time in seven or eight months after his injury so it is all important for the team.

“We are not playing in our team with only 1-11, we have to perform all season with everybody that is in our squad. Everybody is important.”

One man who has had to step up is defender Max Lowe. The youngster has been drafted in at right back following the injury to Jayden Bogle.

“He did very well and that is why we put him again in the right full-back position,” Cocu commented. “It gives him more confidence and he can get used to the situation on the right side, you need some time.

“The position is the same but for your orientation and positioning, you need to train and to play. I think he did very well.”