Graeme Shinnie looked dead and buried after his start to life at Derby, but the former Aberdeen man is firing on all cylinders now at Pride Park.

Phillip Cocu opted against fielding the ex-Dons captain in the Championship, leaving questions up in the air about Shinnie’s future at the Rams after only a few games.

Previously out in the cold. (Photo by Jon Hobley/ MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

He wasn’t selected in any of their opening ten league matches, but in the last three, the midfielder has made a real impression.

His rise from outcast to hero was capped off last night.

Shinnie scored vital Derby winner

Shinnie’s first two displays had mixed fortunes. His first game was brilliant, leading by example in the midfield as they triumphed 2-0 over Luton.

The former Don has been brilliant over the past few Derby games. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

It prompted another start but this time the Rams were humbled 3-0 by Charlton. Back on home soil though, Shinnie managed to earn his finest moment in a Derby shirt yet.

As the Rams pushed for a late winner against Wigan, the ball broke to Shinnie on the edge of the box. With one he touch, he ferociously slammed the ball far into the top corner to make it 1-0.

Derby were handed a winner at a vital moment and it’s thanks to Shinnie. He’s not just scored a goal though, he’s shown his combative nature that made him a Pittodrie hero, shown by his three bookings in his three starts.

Getting there now. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Shinnie is seemingly on a mission to show Cocu he can make the Derby grade.

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