Derby County boss Gary Rowett has suggested that he may be forced to make alterations to his squad ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup tie against Russell Slade’s Grimsby Town tonight.

Rowett confirmed that a number of players are nursing knocks following Friday’s 1-1 draw away at Sunderland, meaning that he is likely to utilise his squad this evening against the Mariners.

In an interview with RamsTV, the former Birmingham boss stated that Tom Huddlestone, Bradley Johnson, Johnny Russell and Craig Bryson are all doubts for this first-round tie at Blundell Park.

Rams fans making the trip up to Grimsby tonight will be interested to hear that some of Derby’s youngsters may get a run out. Rowett said:

“We will see if there’s an opportunity to involve some of the younger players like Jamie Hanson, Jonathan Mitchell and Mason Bennett as well. It will be a good blend and I am looking forward to the game”.

Derby have a large playing squad from which to draw this season, with players such as Marcus Olsson and Ikechi Anya not even making the squad for Friday’s curtain-raiser against the Black Cats. It is therefore possible that this duo, along with Alex Pearce, Chris Baird, Matej Vydra and David Nugent, all of whom started on the bench last week, will feature from the start this evening.

Nevertheless, Rowett has highlighted that he does not want to “compromise the quality and standard of the team”, as the Rams seek to avoid a cup upset on the coast.


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