Phillip Cocu pleased with Derby County response after draw with Cardiff City

Phillip Cocu during the game with Cardiff City.
Phillip Cocu during the game with Cardiff City.

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu says he was happy with his players' response following a poor run of form as they drew 1-1 with Cardiff City on Friday night.

The Rams are now winless in seven league and cup matches but produced an improved overall display, Scott Malone's early goal cancelled out by Robert Gratzel's penalty 20 minutes in.

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And Cocu took heart from the performance.

He said: "The response was good and important to see because I don't like to see what happened at Brentford happen to any of my teams.

"We did very well against a team that have a very direct style of game and which is totally the opposite to how we play.

"We try to get the ball down and play but also showed we could fight the way they played.

"In the end we created some good chances and hit the crossbar, although some of the refereeing decisions were hard to take.

"I felt we should have had a penalty just before they scored their equaliser - if it's 2-0 it is a very different game and maybe gives us the confidence to go on and win."

Cocu was delighted with the display of his midfield players, in particular Duane Holmes and Krystian Bielik who provided moments of quality throughout.

He said: "Duane added lots to our game - he goes deep, out wide, gets crosses in, and was excellent. Bielik showed his physical power which is what we want to see and also Tom Huddlestone did very well.

"These players will improve with more games and give us valuable options."

Derby now prepare to head to face Leeds United on Saturday, September 21, with a 12.30pm kick-off.