Derby manager Phillip Cocu admits his squad after suffering after the club's decision to sack their captain Richard Keogh.
The Republic of Ireland defender is likely to appeal against the decision to terminate his contract after he refused to accept a reduced wages offer to stay at Pride Park.
Keogh sustained serious leg injuries as a passenger in a crash following a team bonding session last month and is set to be sidelined for around a year.
"For everyone it’s a difficult and hard situation, and for the moment I just cannot go into the matter," said Cocu, who last spoke to Keogh on Tuesday.
"It is an ongoing process, a club decision, and it is very complicated, but we have to try to focus on our game on Saturday. We cannot go ‘bye’ that easily as Richard has been here for a long time.
"It’s not up to me to give any reasons, so when the club can, they will clarify why but because it’s a club matter it’s not up to me to give any response on it. I’m sorry.
"You cannot deny a player who was here for many year has an effect on players individually and as a group. We have to prepare and show we are professionals to focus on Boro, a lot of fans will be there and they deserve a good performance."
While Keogh was sacked, the drivers of the cars involved, Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett, have instead received fines and community service from the Championship club.
Both men have also been banned from driving for two years after pleading guilty to drink driving.
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