Rosenior: "Championship is more competitive than ever"
Derby County First-Team Coach, Liam Rosenior, believes as many as “16 or 17 teams have a realistic chance” of getting into the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs this season.
The Rams missed out on promotion to the Premier League at the final hurdle last term, losing out to Aston Villa in the Play-Off Final at Wembley Stadium, and will be hoping to go one better this time around.
Speaking at the EFL Season Launch at the end of July, Rosenior believes it would be extremely difficult to predict the final standings in 2019/20, with the level of quality within the division rising year-on-year.
“I think every year we say the Championship is the most competitive it’s ever been,” he said. “Norwich and Sheffield United probably weren’t among the favourites to get promoted last season but they were absolutely brilliant and that sums up the Championship.
“There are probably 16 or 17 teams that have a realistic chance of getting into the Play-Offs. It’s so competitive because the level is so good and it’s improving every year, so there’s no doubt about how difficult our task will be to make that top six. At the same time, we’ve got a really good chance.”
As for Derby, Rosenior says he’s avoiding setting specific targets at this stage, and wants his players to focus on individual and collective improvement every day.
“I think you’ll see a team that has a real identity in the way it plays,” he added. “Hopefully you’ll see players that aren’t scared to make mistakes and express themselves because that’s really important too.
“I hope we’ll be an entertaining team to watch and we obviously want to win games on top of that as well. There are so many good teams and good players in this division, but we want to play our way and see where it takes us come the end of the season.
“I don’t think you can say ‘if we do this or that this season it’s going to be a success’. We’ll work in a certain way and hopefully in the process the results come on top of that; if you think about the result first you may miss out improving every day.
“As a coach, I want to improve every day and I want the players to do the same; if we do enough of that, it normally gets you to where you want to be.
“It’s not about making big statements about promotion, we just want to be the best team we can be, both on the training pitch and in every game.