Phillip Cocu has enjoyed a steady start to his reign as Derby County manager after taking over from Frank Lampard, beginning the Championship season with a win over Huddersfield Town before a goalless draw with Swansea City.
In contrast, the start of Paul Hurst’s spell with Scunthorpe United could not have gone much worse. Taking over a side relegated into League Two but expected to be challenging for a quick return to League One, he has overseen two defeats in two matches, including a 4-1 humbling at Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
With 64 places between the two teams on the EFL ladder, expectations will be different for each. The Rams reached the fourth round last season, famously conquering Manchester United at Old Trafford on penalties before going down to Chelsea, and will not want to be on the end of a cup upset themselves this season.
For the Iron there is nothing to lose with regards to the result, with no expectation on them to win the tie. However, Hurst will need a positive reaction from his players after some harsh words were spoken last weekend.
Hurst is expected to make changes to his Scunthorpe side after a disappointing start to the campaign.
They are without Kevin van Veen (knee) and Jordan Hallam (hamstring) while Andy Dales (hamstring), Clayton Lewis (thigh), Levi Sutton (knee ligaments) and Lewis Butroid (ankle) all picked up injuries in pre-season. James Perch sits out the final match of a three-game suspension.
How Cocu will approach his first EFL Cup game remains to be seen, but defender Jayden Bogle won’t feature after coming off with ankle injury against Swansea.
Duane Homles (thigh), Andre Wisdom (knee), George Thorne (calf), Ikechi Anya (calf) and Craig Forsyth (knee) are yet to play this season, but goalkeeper Ben Hamer could make his debut after signing on deadline day on loan from Huddersfield.
What the managers have said
Paul Hirst will want a reaction from his Iron side after slamming the team following the defeat at Cheltenham.
“I’m embarrassed and angry and I think that’s what the fans are as well,” he said post-match.
“We have got to improve a hell of a lot. We have got to show a lot more appetite for the game, more enthusiasm and work harder on and off the ball.”
Despite Scunthorpe’s early-season struggles, Rams manager Phillip Cocu says that the opposition should not be taken for granted at Glanford Park.
“This is always the danger of cup games; you cannot go into any game thinking ‘we will beat them, it will be an easy game’,” said the Dutch boss.
“You always need to be respectful of your opponents but on the other hand you need to be confident in your own game.
“For them it is a possibility to get out of a negative start to the season and they will want to give a good performance against us in their home ground. We cannot take it easy.”