Philip Cocu, in the main image to this article, is a man with a smile on his face. However, after the opening quarter of the game at Pride Park this Saturday afternoon, the Dutchman will have precious little to smile about.

The reason for that will be the 3-0 scoreline, a score usually reserved for the end of 90 minutes rather than the opening forays of the first half. Honours were even for the first 10 minutes as both sides pushed and prodded and looked for openings.

However, a five-minute spell of mayhem saw Rovers score three times. The damage was started by Tyrhrys Dolan (11′) before a double blast from Rams old boy Bradley Johnson (12′, 15′) saw the visitors jump out to what many would say is an unassailable lead.

Lewis Storey/Getty Images Sport

Many were expecting this match-up to be a tight game based on previous games between the two sides. Yet, this three-goal salvo really does put a cat in amongst the pigeons. Derby County might as well throw the bulk of their pre-game plans in the bin facing a three-goal deficit.

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It is the sort of game that will open up. Blackburn have the luxury of sitting back and not having to go hell-for-leather for a result. Derby HAVE to go searching for a result and this could see them having to take risks that could open them up for more damage.

Still, the damage has been done already and the Rams face that metaphorical mountain to climb. Here’s how a selection of Derby fans have reacted after that mad opening spell where they shipped three quick goals.

https://twitter.com/blakedcfc/status/1309860418257670146?s=20

https://twitter.com/Staff_box/status/1309860459940581383?s=20

Is this going to be a long, hard season for Derby County fans to endure

Yes.

Long, hard slog.

No.

They’ll pull it around.