• DerbyshireFootball

Cocu praises Rams players after derby day draw

Phillip Cocu was a combination of pleased and frustrated following his Derby County side's 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Friday night.

Martyn Waghorn's goal gave the Rams a half-time lead but Lyle Taylor equalised midway through the second-half, the visitors controversially denied a winner when Kamil Jozwiak's strike 14 minutes from time was ruled out due to Waghorn being deemed offside and in the goalkeeper's line of sight.

But Cocu was keen to highlight the positives, as well as his dismay at the offside decision.

He told RamsTV: "I think what the lads put on today as a team for themselves, the club and definitely for the fans was just fantastic.

“It is just so hard to take after we scored a late goal that was ruled out. Nobody protested; not the goalkeeper, not the bench and not the players. Nobody. It was remarkable because if you look at that goal and also the one Forest scored, I think they are the same.

“We’ve had a few moments like this. They are very big moments, key moments in games and in the end are very decisive. We work hard and the players put their best effort in and you expect to be rewarded for it. The contrary is happening at this moment."

"The pressure was on the game, as it was a big one I think we showed really good character today, not only in the attitude of our players but because we also came here to play.

“I think we have been better in the last couple of games, but a win would have given us a lot more of a boost going into Wednesday against Cardiff at Pride Park.”

Cocu praised returning striker Waghorn for his goal that gave Derby the lead, a fine free-kick from 25 yards out which found the net via the underside of the crossbar.

Cocu said: “It was a quality goal from Martyn. We know he can do it, but if you have been out for quite a long time and then start like he did today, it isn’t easy.

“He gave us a lot, not just the goal, and pushed himself into the 80th minute with a lot of energy, off the ball runs, being strong in his duels and it was great to see.

“I thought Tom Lawrence and Kamil Jozwiak played very well too. They give us a way up the pitch and off the ball movement.”