Liam Rosenior has stressed that there is plenty to be upbeat about at Derby County - and is aware that the short-term focus is all about getting the side up the Sky Bet Championship table.
A four-man coaching team of Rosenior, Wayne Rooney, Shay Given and Justin Walker have been put in temporary charge of first-team affairs following the departure of Phillip Cocu last weekend.
Derby return to action following the two-week international break knowing their fortunes need to improve, in a relentless period between now and the turn of the year, after a disappointing start to the campaign.
They have picked up one win from 11 games so far this term but, with a new coaching team in place while the search for a permanent appointment continues, this week has offered a fresh opportunity for players to impress.
Rosenior, who has been Derby’s Specialist First Team Coach since July 2019, is convinced there are good foundations to build on at the club.
In particular, he feels the encouraging performances of the likes of Lee Buchanan, Jason Knight, David Marshall, Kamil Jozwiak and Tom Lawrence on international duty in the last fortnight will provide a positive energy within the squad.
Derby face Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday (3pm kick-off) and Rosenior, 36, says the immediate focus is on finding the right combination to get results.
Rosenior told RamsTV on Thursday afternoon: “I said after the Barnsley game how disappointing it was (to lose) and how much that result hurt us and that there were really, really good things happening at this football club.
“I think the last two weeks have proven that. I thought Lee Buchanan’s performance for his first start in the England Under-21s was absolutely outstanding. I was absolutely delighted for him; I know how proud he was to make his debut and then to actually start a game.
“Jason Knight is the same, representing his country. I was watching the Republic of Ireland game and saw him singing the national anthem. David Marshall has become a national hero for Scotland and he is a great lad. We cannot wait to get them back in.
“Kamil Jozwiak’s goal, playing against an outstanding Holland team, and the quality of it with the speed he ran at and the way he finished; we need that here. We cannot wait to get those players back in.
“Tom Lawrence was back in this morning from his time with Wales and showed a real appetite to get back in early, which is great for us.
“We know we have got really, really good players in the building so it is up to me, Wayne, Justin and Shay to find the right combination and use the ingredients in the right way and create a successful team in the short term. That’s all the focus is on now.”
Rosenior has paid tribute to Cocu and his staff members Chris van der Weerden and Twan Scheepers, who also left the club last weekend.
He worked with the Dutch trio during their 16 months at the club and admits he saw first-hand how much they wanted to be successful on the pitch.
Looking ahead, Rosenior says Derby’s temporary coaching quartet are aligned in their thinking of the game and how they want the side to perform on the pitch.
Rosenior, the son of former Torquay United, Brentford and Sierra Leone manager Leroy Rosenior, has admitted the Derby squad have reacted well on the training ground throughout this week ahead of Saturday’s clash at Ashton Gate.
Rosenior said: “Obviously it is never nice when you hear your colleagues are leaving the football club.
“We heard about that on late Saturday afternoon and the first thoughts were for Phillip, Chris and Twan. As someone who worked with them every single day, I know that they gave a lot of passion, a lot of energy and a lot of time to try and make things work and I wish them all the very best.
“It was a really quick turnaround for us. Mel Morris and Stephen Pearce got in contact with all four of us as a staff and said that we want to take this club forward in the interim, so we got together on Sunday night and spoke about how we see the game and our identity and what we want from this team moving forward.”
He added: “The great thing about that was we are all pretty aligned in our thinking. We want to see the game played, we want to see attacking football, we want to see the players express themselves and enjoy the way that we play.
“That’s what we have tried to take into training this week and I think the players’ reaction to us has been nothing short of magnificent. However, it doesn’t matter on the training ground from Monday to Friday, the most important thing is that we put a performance to make this club proud on Saturday and take the three points.”