By Pa Sport Staff
Published: 17:15 GMT, 8 November 2019 | Updated: 17:20 GMT, 8 November 2019
Derby boss Phillip Cocu admits the impact of Richard Keogh's sacking is still being felt at the club as they gear up for Saturday's east midlands derby.
County head to Nottingham Forest in the lunch-time kick-off with the saga surrounding their former captain still rumbling on after his agent claimed the decision to dismiss him for gross misconduct could set a dangerous precedent for the game.
Derby terminated Keogh's contract two years early after he was involved in a car crash that resulted in team-mates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett being convicted of drink-driving.
Phillip Cocu says the sacking of Richard Keogh has had a detrimental effect on his players
The club's decision has been criticised as Lawrence, 25, and Bennett, 23, have faced lesser punishments while the 33-year-old Keogh - who could be sidelined for at least 12 months with injuries sustained in the incident - has lost his job.
Derby won their first game since Keogh's sacking 2-0 at home to struggling Middlesbrough, but face a tougher task at the City Ground.
Asked if Keogh remained a distraction, Cocu told a press conference: 'It can be of course. Last week I said this event has