Cocu reveals vital team meeting for struggling Rams

Derby County

Phillip Cocu says he's been holding meetings with his Derby County players in the hope it will help end their recent poor run of form.

Having narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season, when losing the Championship play-off final, hopes were high among the Rams faithful they would again be challenging at the top end of the table in 2019-20.

However, things have not gone to plan for the Pride Park outfit, with Cocu, who had no previous experience of English football prior to replacing Frank Lampard as Derby head coach, finding himself under increasing scrutiny.

Heading into the busy festive period, Derby are down in 16th in the table, with one win from their last five matches.

While their home form has been solid, the Achilles’ heel for Cocu’s side has been their performances on the road, losing the last five in succession on their travels, including at the weekend when they were beaten 1-0 at Blackburn.

The Rams haven’t been helped this season by off-field issues, including the sacking of skipper Richard Keogh following a car crash which also involved Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett.

Derby will have the comforts of home to aid them in their quest to get back to winning ways on Wednesday night when they play host to Sheffield Wednesday.

Ahead of the fixture, Cocu says he has been speaking openly with his squad about their ongoing issues although he stresses they can’t be describe as “clear-the-air” talks.

The Dutchman feels it will benefit his squad if they start being more honest and hopes the young players will start speaking up more often.

“Players do not speak up easily nowadays, back in the day it was different. So they listen, and in many meetings that is fine, but sometimes it is also needed that they say what they think or what is their opinion, without judging it as good or bad,” he told the Derby Telegraph.

“That is the stuff we talked about, without going into details, because to try and create an environment to speak up, I cannot talk about the exact things we spoke about as a team.”