Brentford manager Dean Smith
The Rams are currently sitting in second position in the Championship table, a point clear of Aston Villa and three points ahead of fellow automatic promotion challengers Cardiff City and Bristol City.
Derby have finished in the top six of the Championship in two out of the past four seasons, so their lofty position comes as no surprise, but that doesn’t detract from the good work Rowett is doing at present.
Derby manager Gary Rowett
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip to the Midlands, Brentford boss Smith was full of praise for the former Birmingham City boss.
“He’s [Rowett] done really well. It is a Premier League club facility wise and they have a lot of ex-Premier League players. There is also a lot of expectation on them and Gary Rowett has gone in there and done a really good job," Smith told Brentfordfc.com.
“They are pushing to get that promotion place which their fans believe they should have. They are a good team and are on a good run of form but so are we. It makes for a really good game.”
Derby are on an unbeaten run of ten league matches heading in to the Brentford match, although they have only won one in the last four as Hull City, Bristol City and Millwall all held the Rams to a 0-0 draw.
Brentford themselves are pushing for a top six place, and they remain just five points off the playoffs despite losing their last outing 1-0 at home to fellow top six hopefuls Norwich City.
Rowett has been in charge of Derby for 11 months now and boasts an impressive 48.8% win percentage.