Derby County boss Phillip Cocu has revealed the motivation behind his tactical switch at half-time against Stoke City.
Derby drew 2-2 with the Potters at the Bet 365 Stadium on Saturday.
With the game 1-1 at half time, Cocu brought on Krystian Bielik for Scott Malone and changed his set up from a back four to a back three.
Speaking to the club website, he explained why he made the switch.
The Rams boss said: “You want to keep the initiative.
“We wanted to keep the ball and control the game and after a good start, we couldn’t play our game.
“They put us under pressure and we couldn’t find a way out so you try to analyse what is causing the problem and how we can solve it just to get the initiative back to have build-up play from behind and be able to play more in their half.
“I thought with three at the back we were better at playing the three on two situation where we had more possession with our full-backs a little higher up. It’s what the game needed.
“I saw the data from the game; how much possession we had every 15 minutes in the second half was much higher so I thought we made the right decision. I thought the boys did very well.
“We couldn’t practice a lot playing this way because we wanted to put more effort in training sessions into playing our normal system but we did really well.”
Derby face Bristol City in their fourth Championship game of the season at Pride Park on Tuesday.
The Rams have made a good start to the season under the Dutchman, earning five points from their first three games and currently sitting eighth in the league.
It should be pleasing for Derby fans that Cocu is willing to share his tactics publicly and this may be something they can look forward to for the rest of the season.
Derby will likely opt to go back to the 4-3-3 they have used for the majority of the season against Bristol City, but it will be interesting to see if they prefer to go like for like and match the three at the back system that the Robins have been playing.