Derby boss Nigel Clough insists Scotland international Chris Maguire still has a big role to play this season.
The 22-year-old forward has made four substitute appearances, but is yet to start a league game for the Rams following his summer move from Aberdeen.
There have been rumours Clough has been disappointed with Maguire, but the Derby boss is adamant that is not the case after the injuries to Steven Davies and Nathan Tyson.
"Chris has never been out of our plans and has been in the 16 most of the time, so he is in our thoughts," Clough told Derby's official website.
"He knows we don't think we've seen enough from him in training and in reserve games, but when he came on at Middlesbrough he made a real impact, which is exactly what we wanted to see from him.
"With Steven Davies out until the New Year and Nathan Tyson still injured, Chris has moved up the pecking order and as long as he remains patient, his chance will come."