Kieron Freeman pushing for a first-team start should Roberts miss out again
DERBY County will choose between James O'Connor and Kieron Freeman to play at left-back against Leeds United on Saturday – if Gareth Roberts is sidelined.
Roberts missed the defeat by Leicester City at the weekend with a calf strain and looks likely to be out when Leeds visit Pride Park.
O'Connor, a right-back or central defender, started at left-back against Leicester but was at fault for the Foxes' second goal. He was replaced by Freeman after 77 minutes.
Freeman played 45 minutes of yesterday's behind-closed-doors friendly against Notts County at Moor Farm yesterday and the 20-year-old is in the frame for his first senior start since he joined Derby from Nottingham Forest in the summer.
"Kieron will be in contention for Saturday and it's just whether or not we go with the experience of Jimmy again," said manager Nigel Clough.
"Jimmy knows he was not very good on Saturday and he was experienced enough to put his hand up and admit that.
"But Saturday is a different game and we will be choosing between the two of them.
"Kieron is equally comfortable at right-back or left-back, so it's not a major problem for him."
Derby beat Notts 2-0 yesterday afternoon.
Tony Cascio, one of four Colorado Rapids players currently training with Derby, scored the first goal and defender Mark O'Brien headed the second from a Ben Davies corner.
All the Colorado players started, the other three being Andre Akpan, Chris Klute and Martin Rivero.
Akpan is a 24-year-old forward, Cascio a 22-year-old midfielder, Klute a 22-year-old defender and Rivero, 23, is an Argentine midfielder and the Rapids' young player of the year.
Clough says training with Derby is a valuable experience for the four players.
"They've had to get used to the cold weather, first of all, because they have had no experience of training or playing in cold weather in the United States during their season," he added.
"Their attitude has been brilliant. They trained Monday, played yesterday and will be with us for the rest of this week and early next week.
"They are not bad players. They have all played in the MLS."
Former Derby trainee and first-year professional, Alex Witham, was in midfield for Notts. He is currently training with the Magpies.
DERBY COUNTY: Deeney (Morch, 70); Klute (Dales, 63), Adams, O'Brien (Lelan, 63), Freeman (Richards, 46); Cascio (Wixted, 63), Davies (Dawkins, 70), Doyle, Hoganson; Rivero (Thomas, 63), Akpan (Bennett, 63).