Paul Clement saw his complete Derby County squad train for the first time on Monday, following the return of Will Hughes from international duty, and knows he will now have to make tough decision prior to the Championship opening day.
The former Real Madrid assistant, who will take charge of his first game on Saturday when the Rams play Grimsby, is yet to name who will be his captain for the coming season and give an indication of which formation he could play.
We take a look at two decisions Clement will need to make prior to the Bolton game, both of which could become much clearer after Saturday’s friendly.
Who will be captain?
Richard Keogh has been Derby’s captain for the past three seasons and will no doubt be in the race to get the nod again.
Nevertheless, as reported by the Lancashire Telegraph, Clement is keen on signing Keogh’s predecessor to the Derby captaincy, Jason Shackell, which puts his role in doubt.
Chris Martin, Jake Buxton and George Thorne may also be considered as each player will start with a clean slate.
What formation to start with?
Derby played with a 4-3-3 formation during Steve McClaren’s tenure and Clement may look to keep the system that was in place, especially as Real Madrid favoured it heavily during his time there.
Saturday’s game should give a better indication to what formation, or formations, Clement is considering and how the players react in their given roles.
The likely absence of striker Chris Martin may play a part, however, as Rams fans remain unsure over whether Darren Bent and Martin will be paired in a front two.