Phillip Cocu has confirmed that Tom Huddlestone will take over the mantle as Derby County’s captain for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.

It was confirmed in a club statement earlier today that skipper Richard Keogh will miss the remainder of the season with a serious knee injury.

Huddlestone, 32, has started all eight of Derby’s Sky Bet Championship matches so far this season.

The midfielder is one of most senior players in the Rams’ dressing room and will wear the armband in Keogh’s lengthy absence.

Huddlestone has made over 560 career appearances in club football, as well as being capped by England on four occasions.

He came through the Rams’ youth system in the early 2000s and, following spells with Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City, he re-joined Derby in the summer of 2017.

Speaking to RamsTV, Cocu commented: “The captain will be Tom Huddlestone.

“He is an experienced player and one of our other senior players along with Richard Keogh and Curtis Davies.

“With Richard out for the rest of the season, Tom will be the captain.”

Cocu also admitted it is a big blow for Derby to be without the services of Keogh for the remainder of the season.

The Republic of Ireland international has made 356 appearances for the club since his arrival in the summer of 2012.

The Derby boss says it is important that the rest of the squad step up in the defender’s absence.

He said: “It’s obviously not good news to lose Richard for the rest of the season because not only is he an important player on the pitch but with his character too.

“We have worked together very closely and to lose our captain is a big setback.

“Now it is up to the rest of the team to step up and take on his responsibility and divide it between the more experienced players. This will be important for the rest of the season.”