Derby coach Liam Rosenior has admitted that the Sky Bet Championship continues to improve with '16 or 17 teams' in with a chance of making the play-offs this season.
Rosenior joined the Rams this summer, switching his position with Brighton's under-23s to become a first-team coach under new manager Philip Cocu.
The former full-back has spent time working as an EFL pundit on Sky Sports, providing insight to all 72 teams in the Football League structure.
He's also regarded as one of the best upcoming coaches in England, and he is set for his first senior coaching involvement with Derby.
Speaking to Sporting Life at the Sky Bet EFL season launch, Rosenior said: "Norwich and Sheffield United probably weren't two of the favourites to get promoted last year but they were absolutely brilliant.
"That summed up the Championship, I think there's 16 or 17 teams that are in with a realistic chance of getting into the play-offs.
"It's so competitive because the level is so good. I think it's improving year-on-year and we're in no doubt at Derby at how difficult our task will be of making that top-six but at the same time we know we've got a really good chance."
The switch to Derby, who are 9/4 with Sky Bet for a top-six finish this season, was one that made sense for Rosenior. He states that there were a number of reasons behind his move to the East Midlands.
"So many reasons. It's a huge football club with amazing traditions in English football," Rosenior explained. "Secondly, the manager I'm working with, someone who has got outstanding experience in his career - not just as a player but as a manager as well.
"I just think that it was a job that was too good to turn down, I was in a really good position at Brighton working at a wonderful football club, working with Sky who have been outstanding for me and helped me so much but I felt that it was too good to turn down."
On Cocu, Rosenior confessed his excitement to work under the former PSV manager.
"His (Cocu's) CV is pretty impressive," Rosenior said. "But what's even more impressive is that when you get to know him and speak to him about the game, his ideas and the way he wants to work is even more impressive
"He's done everything there is to do in the game and what's great for me is that I can see why he's been so successful.
"I can see why, not just as a player but as a coach as well, he's been successful and hopefully I'll improve working underneath him and hopefully I'll help him to achieve what I think is possible at the club as well."
Odds correct at 1225 BST (31/07/19)
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