Derby County’s Specialist First Team Coach Liam Rosenior has praised the impact of Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence after making their returns from injury this month.
The pair missed the opening stages of the 2020/21 campaign and were forced to watch on from the sidelines as they progressed through their rehabilitation programmes.
Waghorn sustained a calf injury in pre-season and sat out seven first-team games in total, while Lawrence required surgery on his shoulder at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and missed the first six games of the new season.
The pair’s return to action in recent weeks has quickly highlighted the quality they can bring to Phillip Cocu’s side in the final third, as well as how sorely they were missed while they were out of action.
Waghorn netted a superb free-kick in Derby’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Friday, his 26th goal in Rams colours from 93 appearances since joining the club in the summer of 2018, while he also led the line well on his first start since July.
Lawrence, meanwhile, has started the Rams’ last two matches and the Welshman’s direct play and driving runs – alongside Kamil Jozwiak on the other wing – have allowed the side to carry a stronger attacking threat.
Rosenior says the duo deserve credit for returning to action in such good shape from a fitness aspect after frustrating spells in the treatment room.
Speaking to RamsTV, he said: “When you are missing two top quality forward players like Martyn Waghorn and Tom Lawrence, that is going to hurt any team in the Championship.
“You have to give credit to the players as they have come back from long injuries and made an impact.
“I thought Martyn was outstanding at Forest, not just the goal he scored but his work rate was a nightmare for defenders. He bullied the centre halves and Tom Lawrence has shown his quality as well.”
The 36-year-old added: “Credit needs to go to our medical team as well because for the players to show their fitness levels after long lay-offs and play the minutes they have done in a short space of time, is fantastic.
“We are all working in the same direction and can’t wait to see a fit Martyn Waghorn and a fit Tom Lawrence playing at their very best. We know that if they do then they can make a huge difference to this team.”