Boss Cocu hopes Derby County can continue to improve in 2020

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu
Derby County boss Phillip Cocu

Manager Phillip Cocu says he hopes Derby County can continue to improve and climb the table in 2020.

Cocu was speaking after Monday night’s crucial 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic, which lifted them well clear of the relegation zone in the Sky Bet Championship.

“The win was needed, and everyone knew it,” said Cocu in an interview with Rams TV. “But I think we have seen, in the last couple of games, a change in the way the team reacts and how they perform together.

“This is something we need to keep as we go into 2020. If we can do it, we will improve.

“We now have a chance to show we are maturing and developing. We cannot have too many ups and downs for the rest of the season.”

Cocu described the win over Charlton as “a great performance because of “the way we played and the team spirit we showed”.

He added: “Even with ten men, we found a way to be in good positions in the final third, and we also defended well.

“We gave all we had, and for a young lad from our academy to score the two goals and be man-of-the-match was a great feeling.”

Cocu was full of praise for matchwinner Jason Knight, branding him “a quality player who always gives 100 per cent”.

“I enjoy watching him work and play, whether it be in an afternoon training session or in a game,” the Rams boss said.

Cocu also singled out Max Bird for the way he has fought his way back into the side after ”a difficult start to the season”. “He played a fantastic game,” said the manager.