Sunderland AFC briefing - Gary Rowett reveals Derby team news, ex-Cats boss to step down
Derby County manager Gary Rowett expects to be missing just three players for the visit of Sunderland.
Tom Huddlestone will serve a one-match suspension while Marcus Olsson and Sam Winnall are also expected to miss out against Sunderland on Good Friday (KO 7.45pm).
Rowett said: "We will have a few back, but there a couple that have yet to return to training.
"Marcus Olsson still hasn’t trained, Sam Winnall will not be available, but other than that a lot of players will have the chance to be available."
The international break allowed Derby to rest key players including Curtis Davies and Richard Keogh, who have started every single Sky Bet Championship game so far this season.
Rowett added: "Two weeks is a long time in football and it’s allowed some of the players to get some training minutes under their belt, with the chance of being ready for the next game.
“It’s important to give the players a breather sometimes, with the likes of Curtis Davies and Richard Keogh who have played virtually every minute of every game.
“At this stage of the season, some of those players probably need more of a breather than some of the others so it’s been useful.
“We will go into the next game more prepared than we would normally be because we have had more time to work with the lads."
Ex-Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy to step down as Ipswich Town boss in the summer
Mick McCarthy's six-year spell as Ipswich manager will come to an end when his contract expires this summer.
The 59-year-old former Sunderland boss, the longest-serving manager in the Sky Bet Championship, has agreed with club owner Marcus Evans to a parting of ways at the end of the campaign.
"Mick and I had a discussion and we both agreed that this was the best way forward for him and for Ipswich Town," Evans told itfc.co.uk after a meeting with McCarthy on Wednesday night.
"It never got to the point where we actually talked about a new contract. It just felt right that it was time for us both to look at different options.
"When Mick arrived, we looked to be on the way to relegation. He saved us from that and then took us to the play-offs within two years.
"In his six years here he has made us a very competitive club in what is a very competitive league.
"I want to put on record my sincere thanks to Mick for the job he has done here as our manager."
McCarthy, who joined Ipswich in November 2012 after being sacked by Wolves nine months earlier, said he had no regrets about his departure.
"I had a good discussion with Marcus and we feel this is the right thing to do for me and for Ipswich Town," he said.
"I have loved my time here and I am proud of what I have achieved over the last six years and the relationship I have enjoyed with the players and all the staff at the club in that time.
"I won't be leaving with any regrets. I have given everything for Ipswich Town and I will see out my contract in the same way."