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Phillip Cocu shares thoughts on season and what Derby need to do to gain success

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Phillip Cocu has got off to a mixed start in the Championship but admitted that he is not surprised by what he has experienced so far.

The Championship is regarded by many as one of the most competitive divisions in Europe, and one in which any team is capable fo beating another – and Cocu shares that view.

Speaking to RamsTV, he underlined the importance for maximum preparation, and explained that attention to the finer details often proves the difference in winning and losing.

He also stressed the importance of individual mistakes, and how cutting them out will lead to much greater chances of success for his side, as well as commenting on the weekend’s fixture against West Brom.

Cocu said: “It’s an interesting test for us against a good team, who are one of the favourites for promotion.

“I’m looking forward to these kinds of games. They like to have the ball and it’s good for us [to play against] a team which likes to play the ball.”

The former PSV man also suggested it may take some time for all of his players to get used to his methods and each other’s playing styles – particular newcomers like Krystian Bielik and Jamie Paterson.

However, he stressed that they are continuing to work with each other on the training ground and will do so for the foreseeable future, and if everything falls into place Derby could begin to rise up the table.

The Verdict

Cocu seems very level-headed and does not seem the sort of manager to get carried away by a successful run or when things aren’t going to plan.

He clearly trusts his system and more importantly trusts his players, and has confidence in them to perform well. Once they understand his style of play they will be able to keep the ball better and break down more defensive teams – which is Cocu’s main target currently – and that will lead them to pick up more points.

Derby endured their first defeat of the season at home to Bristol City on Tuesday but have been competitive in every match so far, and will look to bounce back against West Brom, who have had a similar start to the season under Slaven Bilic – but remain unbeaten.

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