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 the Republic of Ireland player's 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.

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 impact, big impact, so we cannot say a week later that everything is gone, it's still got some impact.

"But we also have to as a team be focused on the games and we have one more game coming up before the break - a very big one and we need all focus on that."

Cocu said his squad had been boosted, though, by Wayne Rooney's presence at the training ground this week, with the former England striker due to officially start his player-coach role at the club in January.