Gary Rowett can thrive under the radar at Derby

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Gary Rowett and Derby ahead of the 2017/18 Championship season.

Background

Gary Rowett had a nice little break during the course of last season, spending four months out of work after he was bizarrely sacked by Birmingham following the arrival of a Hong Kong-based consortium. His appointment at Pride Park in March constituted an upwards career move, although Derby have never done themselves justice since inflating the playing budget nearly four years ago. Both Nigel Pearson and Steve McClaren were sacked in the space of five months last term. Rowett’s primary task is to restore order and stability.

Personality

Rowett is an executive, an outstanding organiser of people. He would be just as comfortable running a business with hundreds of employees as he is with a squad of 22 players. He has a talent for making complex scenarios seems straightforward and presents his ideas and action plans concisely, in a way that almost anyone can understand. He has a passion for performance data and video analysis, and is quick to draw conclusions from almost any situation. He lives in a world of clear, verifiable facts.

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Verdict

Derby oddly find themselves under the radar this season, rarely mentioned whenever promotion contenders are discussed, which is intriguing given how they have struggled under the weight of high expectations previously. Rowett is a solid appointment and his focus on the process rather than results could go a long way towards curing the Rams of their capacity to choke at crucial moments. If he can get Birmingham into play-off contention two seasons running on scant resources, he can certainly cement a top-six place on his budget at Pride Park.

Prediction: play-offs

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