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Phillip Cocu knows Derby need to improve in attack

Huddersfield Town v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – The John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Derby manager Phillip Cocu admits a lack of cutting edge in the final third is costing his side as their dismal start to the Championship season continued with a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield.

Juninho Bacuna’s first league goal for nearly eight months condemned the Rams, without Wayne Rooney who was self-isolating after a coronavirus scare, to a fifth defeat in six games.

Matt Clarke hit the post late on, but it was the fourth time Derby have failed to score this term.

Cocu said: “The worst thing we did with this game was our set-plays. It was poor, but I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“We had lots of corners and free-kicks, but we didn’t convert any of those chances to score a goal.

“We need to be more effective in front of goal. We have to pull the trigger and score a goal.

“I think we played pretty well in the first half. I thought we should have been 1-0 up, that’s what we needed.

“After we conceded the goal, though, we were mentally in a hurry.

“They [the players] have confidence, but mentally when we score a goal you can see a change. We are in a hurry.

“The only thing we didn’t do was score a goal. The key moment in the first half was the one-on-one situation with Jason Knight.

“That’s a mistake you can’t make – he’s two yards onside, not a couple of feet. In the second there’s an offside and they don’t give it.

“That’s the situation we’re in at the moment because I think if we score a goal we win the game.

“In the second half we concede a goal and the boys have worked so hard it makes the game much more difficult.”

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan saluted his battling side as they extended their impressive start to the campaign.

Bacuna’s 53rd-minute goal helped the in-form Terriers make it 10 points from their last four league fixtures.

“We are very happy with the result because tonight was a very complicated game,” said Corberan.

“The most important thing for me is the spirit in this squad, it’s really showing now.

“We know that every game is going to be tough. We were expecting that type of game.

“It was very tough. We made mistakes in the first half and it was tough to impose ourselves, but we created the big chance for the goal.

“My ambition is to get a result every game, but I’m not looking at the table.

“Today was a very tough game and we knew we were playing a team with a high quality calibre of player.

“We know they are a team who haven’t been getting the results they would have wanted.

“At the same time they had an extra day of recovery and sometimes this can affect the performance of the players.

“They pressed us really well and that made it tough for us to express ourselves with our options in attack.”