Derby players are reportedly said to have been left ‘surprised’ by manager Wayne Rooney’s latest decision which was confirmed to the squad.
Some of the team has been left questioning the call to name Tom Lawrence as captain, according to The Athletic, with the player since hitting back.
Lawrence has been at the Rams since the summer of 2017, and has managed to get on the scoresheet 26 times in 146 games for the club since arriving from Leicester City.
The Wales international has caused plenty of debate and controversy at times at Derby, especially the time he was involved with an alcohol-related car crash which saw Richard Keogh out injured for a year.
Ever since that day, Lawrence is said to have been looking to make amends for his actions, and Rooney is now turning to give him a huge amount of responsibility by naming him as the new Derby captain.
According to The Athletic’s report, a number of Derby players were surprised at that, with others said to have felt like there were more natural leaders within the squad.
It adds that they have also been concerned with the manager’s behaviour, though the standard of training is something that has impressed them.
Lawrence scored as Derby beat Notts County in their final pre-season friendly on Sunday afternoon ahead of their first game of the league season when they face Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Asked about the predictions, with Derby favourites to finish bottom of the Championship and be relegated to League One, Lawrence said: “We as a group don’t even look at that, but if people want to write us off then we are happy with that and then we will surprise them all.”
“Pre-season has gone fantastic so far. All the lads have been working hard, we feel fit and we can’t wait to be back out there and in front of our fans again.”
Derby are currently dealing with a transfer embargo and have yet to add new signings to a small squad, although that could change in the coming days, something Rooney has put out there to the fanbase.
“I am confident that within the next 48 hours we will bring players in,” he said (via Sky Sports).
“It is probably the first time I have been confident that players will come in.”
When asked how many players would be signed, Rooney added: “I would like as many as possible.
“We just have to focus, there is still a little bit of work to be done, but I am confident we will see some new faces this week.”
The Rams currently have nine out-of-contract players training with them, they are as follows: Phil Jagielka, Richard Stearman, Ravel Morrison, Sone Aluko, Sam Baldock, Tom Carroll, Ryan Allsop, Curtis Davies and Andre Wisdom.
When asked if the situation had affected morale, Lawrence said: “The group in the changing room is very good. There will be no complaints from us, we just get on with our job and do the most we can and get ready for the first game.
“The group is very tight. All of the lads who have come in have been a credit to themselves, they have worked hard everyday. It must be tough in their situation, and we all acknowledge that, but they have worked as a group really well.”
With some Derby players left ‘surprised’ by Wayne Rooney’s latest decision to make Lawrence (linked with West Brom) captain as well as their main penalty taker, fans have reacted online…
— Bite (@biteyerlegs70) August 3, 2021
@JulianJohnPhot1: Perplexed and poleaxed. I would be surprised if he is still at Derby come October.
@lunar_werewolf: Impossible to judge him with the squad in its current state, if he gets at least most of the players he needs in then we can assess, but even then he’s got to have a few months. Ferguson or Clough in their prime would struggle with the team in its current condition.
@BenedwardsBen: I do generally believe that we will struggle this season if we don’t sign anyone and the takeover isn’t completed soon. We’ll be lucky if we avoid relegation as I fear We’ll be toying with relegation all season again
@LeeJ02ncfc: So Derby sack club captain Richard Keogh for being a passenger in a Drink driving crash! then less than 2 years down the line, make Tom Lawrence captain who was actually drink driving. What a club
@DanielKelly95: Basically whatever anyone says or does is tied down until we can submit accounts and see where we are. Pay our way and rebuild a club with new leadership from the top
@Bretheren: So are we saying the manager should only make decisions that suit the players? We have been down that road before and it got us nowhere
@Jihelecltd: Not defending Rooney one bit… However before some people at the top question his decision making, they should look at there selves and there decision making over last few years #Embarrassing #dcfc @dcfcofficial
The recently appointed club captain has had his moments at Derby, from scoring screamers to drunken car crashes, his inconsistency has always been there, but as his best, hes a top player and hopefully becoming club captain will bring the best out of him. pic.twitter.com/dcaT7XYrXS
— derbys finest (@dcfcbracktista) July 28, 2021
ON LAWRENCE LINKED WITH WEST BROM
@ramsfan0285: Last of the big bucks earners on the payroll, If Derby could get his £30 grand a week off the books it could free up wages for 3 additional signings. He walks for nowt at end of the season, if they want him let him go.
@BenedwardsBen: I’ll even clear out his locker for him
@NatGWx: #WBA in for Tom Lawrence?? not really the out and out striker we’re looking for if the rumours are true 😪
@gempopmoo: Sorry but we need him we cant bring anyone decent as him to replace so no we need him #dcfcfans #dcfc
@Cal102030: Why do we need 15 million to balance the books if we have parachute payments? Also why on earth would we want Tom Laurence? He’s done nothing at derby. Would rather go for the young lad Sibley instead. #wba #wbafc
@METwedds: It’s either a new contract on reduced wages now or sell. Simple as that.
@AdamFisher02: Typical of today’s fans, whilst we all probably don’t like what happened 2 years ago, this lad is a good option going forward, let’s be fair we don’t have many. Why would our so called fans want to ship him out and bring nobody in ? Brain 🧠 dead #dcfc
@Kingkennyl: Ok so if we say sell, where do we think the cash is going from the sale?? I don’t fancy it’ll go on finding a replacement never mind a better replacement in the current circumstances
@michaelbates8: Ffs sake people… he’s just been made captain… why sell??? Just why??? Replace with whom…. Ill wait…..
@Garry44665335: Let him go…. cash in now,he will leave for the highest bidder at the end of his contract.