The international break can come at good and bad times for clubs up and down the country and one of the sides that will definitely benefit from the break is Derby County.
Derby have been on a bad run of form, which has seen the side slip into the play-off places, with the club’s manager Steve McClaren under heavy pressure.
The break represents a chance for the injured players at the club to get some extra rest before returning to the side, but the man who is going to benefit most from the break is the manager himself.
McClaren has been chopping and changing his team regularly over the last few weeks, trying to find a combination of his best eleven.
The break gives him a chance to sit back, review things and look at where he can make a difference and select a consistent group of players, before injured stars come back into the first team.
He will also have extra time to look at the tactics the side has been using and he can also study footage of where Derby have been exploited by their opposition in recent games.
The boss needs to refine areas where the Rams are struggling and they should be able to pull through stronger as a result.
McClaren can also work with the players still at the club and start implementing ideas and changes on the training field with a bit more time as there’s no upcoming match ahead this weekend.
McClaren is one of the most experienced managers around, but even he looks like he needs a refreshed mentality.
Five points is not an impossible gap for Derby to make back but they need to be perfect for the rest of the season if they’re going to get a place in the top two and avoid the lottery of the play-offs.