Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has responded to the on-field incident involving Tom Lawrence and Reading’s Matt Miazga after yesterday’s 2-1 win at Pride Park.
Within five minutes of half-time, Derby managed to score two goals in quick succession to give themselves a healthy lead over Reading. First it was Tom Lawrence who curled a fine effort into the top-corner, before Wayne Rooney converted from 12-yards.
Andy Rinomhota headed Reading back into the game just after the hour mark, but Derby managed to hold out for what is their second win of the restart, and their fourth from their last four Championship games.
But the game was marred by an incident following the final whistle.
Lawrence and Miazga were involved in an exchange where Lawrence appeared to push his head into Miazga’s, who reacted furiously, putting his hands into the face of Lawrence on at last three occasions – the final being a firm slap with the fist, before both were shown red cards.
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Speaking about the incident with Derby Telegraph, Cocu broke his silence after appearing to ignore Lawrence immediately after:
“I spoke to the players (after the game), but not individually. I think it is better to leave it while the emotions are high from me, but also from Tom. It is definitely something we will have a chat about when we start training.
“He was still quite high with emotion, for me it was the same because frustration is high at the moment because he confirmed again today how important he is for the team. So if anything like this happens after the game, it is such a pity.”
After what was a solid win against a good side in the Championship, it’s a shame for Derby and Lawrence that this incident will be what the game is remembered for.
Rather than Lawrence’s fine goal and performance, it will indeed be remember for his and Miazga’s ill-tempered fight. But these things happen in football, and Derby will simply have to deal without Lawrence in their next fixture.