Gary Rowett praise suggests Birmingham's David Cotterill could be inspired Derby County signing

Derby manager Gary Rowett

Derby County manager Gary Rowett got the best out of Welsh international David Cotterill at Birmingham City.

Birmingham City's David Cotterill looks dejected after a missed chanceBirmingham City's David Cotterill looks dejected after a missed chance

Even when Birmingham City supporters were making clear their displeasure with Dave Cotterill’s performances, loyal manager Gary Rowett was always the first to defend his winger.

In fact, even when the 29-year-old was being targeted by the boo-boys at the start of last season, Rowett’ faith did not waiver. Cotterill remained an integral part of The Blues team and it’s telling that, a few weeks after Rowett’s baffling sacking in December, he was farmed out on loan to Bristol City.

Birmingham’s David Cotterill (C) and Burnley’s Stephen Ward in action

Clearly, the highly-rated coach has a great deal of admiration for the Welsh international winger. Therefore, it’s little surprise that Derby County, Rowett’s current club, are in the running to sign Cotterill with Birmingham open to offers this summer, according to Wales Online.

Derby’s options on the flanks were not the most inspiring last season with Ikechi Anya, Abdoul Camara and Johnny Russell all flattering to deceive.

'Fantastically good'

Therefore, they will be hoping that Rowett can get Cotterill back to the sort of form he showed in the latter stages of the 2015/16 campaign.

Derby manager Gary RowettDerby manager Gary Rowett

“He has come good, fantastically good,” Rowett told the Birmingham Mail in May last year after Cotterill earned a place in Wales pre-Euro 2016 training camp.

“When Cotts covers ground well his quality follows naturally, he gets into better positions high up the pitch and he puts better balls in and he has more shots.

“I think he has been absolutely terrific.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Jack Price in action against Birmingham City's David Cotterill (L)

Cotterill’s tally of three goals and six assists across 2016/17 is far from awe-inspiring but the prospect of a reunion with Rowett is an intriguing one for Derby.

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