Cocu points finger square at Rooney after Hollywood pass costs Derby

Date published: Wednesday 26th February 2020 11:34 - Steve Pearson

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Derby County boss Phillip Cocu was left with no alternative but to lament Wayne Rooney’s adventurous cross-field ball after his errant pass led directly to QPR’s winner at Loftus Road.

The ex-England captain has been a standout performer since his January switch to Pride Park.

The Rams have won six of 13 encounters across all competitions since his debut, with Rooney notching two assists and four goals – including an audacious panenka penalty versus high-flying Fulham.

However, an ambitious pass left Cocu ruing the uncharacteristic error after Ilias Chair scored a 75th-minute winner to extend Derby’s miserable away form.

“For the second goal we didn’t defend well – didn’t make the right choice. The opponent didn’t create a lot of chances but they were effective,” said Cocu.

“We maybe created more, but they scored more. The way we played was not bad. But football is always about results, so we cannot be happy.

“We came back after their goal and in the second half I think we played better until we lost possession by a cross-pass of Wayne.

“It’s frustrating. Away from home since the start of January we have been playing much better, dominating more and creating more, but the only issue is that we concede too many goals.

 

“We had a feeling that if we kept it at 1-1 we were in a good position. That’s what we felt at half-time. We’re frustrated that again it’s a defeat.

“We were able to create, so that’s not the reason we didn’t get the result.”

QPR boss Mark Warburton praised his team but admitted they rode their luck.

The hosts survived late Derby pressure, with keeper Liam Kelly producing a fine save to deny Waghorn, who then missed a chance to equalise.

Warburton said: “We’ve had games this season where we haven’t got the rewards – and tonight I thought we rode our luck a bit in the final five or 10 minutes.

“We deserved that bit of luck – and we did ride our luck – and that’s a vital three points for us.

 

“We dropped too deep and also conceded a soft goal. It meant that after being dominant we ended up going in 1-1 at half-time.

“But all credit to the players. Their heads weren’t down and they responded. We stepped up the tempo and I felt we deserved to win.

“Derby are a very good team with a lot of quality and they are going to cause you problems.

“But we felt that our attacking prowess could hurt them as well and that proved to be the case.”

Meanwhile, Rooney’s former club Man Utd could be set to offload two stars in order to pave the way for Jack Grealish’s arrival.

 

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