Phillip Cocu has had an eventful first year as Derby County head coach and could participate in the promotion playoffs.

Cocu became Derby County boss last summer and the club were sitting 17th at Christmas, but are now only one point off a playoff spot. The Dutchman has also had to put up with a lot of behind the scenes incidents, with defender Andre Wisdom stabbed last week, while Captain Richard Keogh, and two teammates were involved in a drunk car crash earlier in the campaign.

Speaking to AD, Cocu said you cannot learn how to deal with these incidents at a training course, “Well, I can confirm that. A season like this, with its bizarre incidents and how you deal with them, you only learn that in practice.”

Cocu’s Derby are equal with Frank Lampard’s of last season that reached the playoff final. Cocu has a top six finish in his sights, “But we are not there yet, you know. We will play five more teams from the top 6. But because of our comeback, we will now play those duels with only positive pressure.¬†We started with a new selection last summer, of course the playoffs are always the ambition, but I have signed for four years for a reason.¬†Participating in the top six places is already positive for this first year. ”

Derby County’s turn of form owes a lot to Wayne Rooney, “34 years old, Rooney, but he is still able to make a difference. Nice how things can go: in our first phone call I said I saw him as a ’10’. Wayne agreed. But then you start working together and perhaps to the surprise of both of us, he now makes his mark as controlling midfielder. “

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