What Derby County manager Phillip Cocu has said about Sheffield Wednesday
Derby County manager Phillip Cocu says he will not change his approach to Saturday’s game at Hillsborough despite coming up against a Sheffield Wednesday outfit buoyed by a dramatic win over Charlton Athletic in midweek.
Wednesday secured three points in front of the Hillsborough faithful for the first time since the 1-0 win over Bristol City during Christmas week, courtesy of a 95th minute strike from top scorer Steven Fletcher.
The win followed a spirited performance produced by Garry Monk’s side in the 3-3 draw against Birmingham City at St Andrew’s six days ago.
And the Owls will be looking to build on those performances against a Rams side without a win in four and which has only picked up 11 points away from home all season.
But speaking to the media ahead of the clash at S6, Cocu acknowledged tomorrow’s game will be another tough trip on the road for his side.
“They had a very late win (Wednesday night), the 95th minute but very important for them, I think,” said the Dutchman.
“If you look at the results before that they were not so good, but they had a very, very good streak of wins before their difficult times.
“That confirms for me that it will not be an easy game.
“We have to be focused on our own game with the identity now it is getting more clear how we play, and try to be effective in front of the goal that can really help us relieve pressure from the defence.”
And when asked if Monk’s side will approach the game differently after the last-gasp win on Wednesday, Cocu said: “It could, of course, because they probably feel better but it does not change our approach to the game.”
The Rams have been boosted by the signing of former Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney in January.
He has had a huge impact at Pride Park, taking on the captaincy and featuring in all but 14 minutes of his 13 games for Derby.
But despite the the 34-year-old's presence in a relatively young squad, the Rams have struggled for consistency this season.
“That is the biggest challenge, that is obvious and has been a problem throughout the season but I am not unhappy with how we play football,” said Cocu.
“I think the level of performance is quite good, the highs and lows in the game are not so extreme anymore.
“It is more in the details that we lose the game, or by set pieces like at Bristol.
“In general I am pleased with the development how we are more dominant, the passing rhythm when we have possession is much higher, the intention when playing forward is improving, it is not slow.
“I think that is a difference to the first half of the season. That is why the confidence is bigger from my part that we can get another result in an away game because the football we play is better.”