Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has described the sacking of former club captain Richard Keogh and the fallout that has occured from the situation as a distraction to the Rams.

Richard Keogh was sacked for gross misconduct after being involved in a car crash that saw two of his team mates plead guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett, the two players in question, still remain at the club.

Keogh is expected to appeal against the East Midlands club’s decision to dismiss him, and the PFA have said that they will “robustly defend the player.”

Talking about the current situation, Rams boss Cocu has said that it is a difficult time at the club.

As quoted by the BBC, Cocu said: “Last week I said this has a big impact so we cannot say everything is gone. It still has an impact.”

“We have to focus on the games. We have one more game coming up before the international break and it’s a very big one so we need all our focus on that.”

Derby County travel to East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest on Saturday lunchtime in a fixture that is one of the first that both sets of fans look out for on fixture release day.

The two sides have already met once this season, with Nottingham Forest emphatically beating the Rams 3-0 in the Carabao Cup.

Phillip Cocu and his side know that picking up a result is crucial. Three points will move them just one point behind their arch rivals.