Ralph Hasenhüttl has praised James Ward-Prowse for stepping up in the absence of Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
The Danish midfielder began a four-game ban in the midweek game at Chelsea, but it didn’t prevent the team earning an impressive 0-0 draw, with Ward-Prowse taking on his role at Stamford Bridge.
With Højbjerg banned for a further three games, and Maya Yoshida also away this month with Japan in the Asian Cup, Hasenhüttl said he needs other players to stand up in their absence, and has taken encouragement from how Ward-Prowse, who has started the last two matches under him, has done so.
ralph hasenhüttlhe showed he can be the guy in this position and that was important for me.
on james ward-prowse
"We will fight on and try to find another solution [without Pierre and Maya],” said Hasenhüttl.
“The guys who are coming in have to show they can do it as well as the guys not playing at the moment.
“I think Prowsey did it against Chelsea. He substituted Pierre and I think it was a very good game from Prowsey.
“I think he showed he can be the guy in this position and that was important for me.”
Whether the midfielder gets he nod at Derby again today in the Emirates FA Cup remains to be seen, though, with Hasenhüttl indicating he will make a number of changes given the effort the players put in at Stamford Bridge.
"It's about fresh players,” he said. “The last fight against Chelsea was a huge one and it cost energy, and we try to give a few new players a chance to come back.
“I guarantee I will send a team on the pitch that is well-prepared, focused, and with the willingness to win and get to the next round.”
Hasenhüttl is expecting a tough test, though, against Frank Lampard’s Derby, who are sixth in the Championship.
"It's a good team, well-organised, with a well-known manager who is in his first job and I think he is doing a good one there,” he said.
“It will be a very difficult game, a very tough challenge for us and we are alert.”