Derby County manager Phillip Cocu suggested that he decided to bring in Ben Hamer for Kelle Roos on Saturday against Queens Park Rangers, to take the pressure of the 27-year-old and allow him to regain confidence out of the side.
Following the Rams’ 3-0 defeat at Fulham, Roos came under pressure from Derby supporters for his failure to command his penalty area from set pieces and crosses, which saw Cocu’s side concede two of the three goals from dead ball positions – and it was not the first time this campaign that individual errors from the 27-year-old has cost them goals.
Cocu decided to replace Roos with Hamer, who made his first start of the season in the Championship for the Rams, and the keeper managed to pull off a couple of important saves against QPR, but he was eventually beaten by Eberechi Eze’s penalty which ended Derby’s run of four successive home league clean sheets, as the game ended 1-1.
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Speaking to the Derby Telegraph following the Rams draw against QPR, Cocu suggested that him and his coaching staff thought it would be better to take Roos out of the limelight, but that he still feels when his confidence is back he will be competing for the starting spot again, saying: “We spoke with the staff about this position, because it is just a little bit different from an (outfield) player.
“We looked back at the games he played over the recent period of time – also, he made important saves in these games – but his confidence was not at its best.
“Sometimes it sounds strange in a way that you almost protect a player to give him some time to sit down with (goalkeeper coach) Shay Given, focus on some elements and aspects of training and the game where he needs improvement.
“Also to get out of the spotlight and when he feels good again, and he performs like we know he can, he is going to compete with Ben again.”
Cocu’s decision to drop Roos against QPR would not have been an easy one for the Dutchman, who has shown real faith in the keeper during the opening months of the campaign, but it was also one that needed to make following the costly errors he made in the defeat at Fulham.
Roos has shown his shot stopping ability so far this term, but he appears to have lost all his confidence in terms of his ability to command his penalty area, which creates tension amongst the back four making it difficult to keep opponents at bay, so Cocu made the right decision in taking him out of the limelight to allow him to regroup and rediscover some form.
Hamer justified that decision as well by producing a largely solid performance on his league debut against QPR, and that should be enough to see him keep the number one position over the next few weeks, and it will now be up to Roos to perform in training and earn back his place in the side.