Derby County boss Phillip Cocu knows Friday’s Sky Bet Championship clash against Cardiff City will be a tough encounter - but he is in positive mood ahead of the game.

The manager believes that the Rams had a productive two-week international break, working with those who didn't go away with their countries on the training pitch.

The Derby boss was keen to use the time to positive effect and believes there is a positive energy around the training ground at the moment and he is hoping to use that in preparation for the game against the Bluebirds on Friday.

“Their manager, Neil Warnock, has a lot of experience, he has had success in the Championship so it will be a difficult game,” Cocu told RamsTV.

“The short history between the clubs also make it maybe a little bit bigger game for the club and the fans. That is something we realise.

“They have quite a direct game so it will definitely be a tough game, but it is down to us.

“We had a good break, there is a good feeling and good work done so we are very positive about the game on Friday.”

Positivity is the key for the Rams boss and he was pleased to hear the players who were on international duty reported back fully fit.

They are all in contention to play tomorrow, however, he will be without a number of his players for the clash with Cardiff.

However, Scott Malone and Florian Jozefzoon are fit again and in contention for a place in the side.

“On injuries, we have George Evans who is injured and will be out for some time with a muscle injury,” Cocu admitted.

“Ikechi Anya and Jayden Bogle are still out too. Andre Wisdom played a little bit in our friendly game against the Under-23s last week and he is building up his fitness.

“Craig Forsyth had his first moment in a real game situation in that game too, so that is positive.

“Mason Bennett has a small injury too, but we have to find out what is the problem, hopefully it isn’t too bad and Lee Buchanan has a hamstring injury from the Brentford game.”