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Derby County owner offers support to Phillip Cocu despite poor start to the season

Derby County owner Mel Morris has pledged his support towards manager Philipp Cocu despite the club’s wretched run of form since the beginning of the Championship campaign.

The Rams have suffered defeats in five of their six league matches this term and they are presently lying in the drop zone with three points, eight adrift of the play-off positions.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Morris has now acknowledged that he is concerned over the situation which has not been helped with the absence of key players.

He added that Cocu continues to receive support from himself and emphasised that Dutchman can’t be put to blame for the club’s worst start to the season since the forgettable 2006/07 Premier League campaign.

“Of course we are concerned about the lack of points, as is the manager. But when you look at the cards we’ve been dealt this season, it’s hardly surprising that results have been poor,” He told.

“Does he have our support? Yes, we have got to be realistic about the challenges he faces. This is not about a lack of tactics, or effort on the training field, or those things.”

Cocu has changed the style of play since him taking charge from Frank Lampard last summer. The Rams made a similarly slow start to the previous campaign with six points at the same stage, but still ended the season in a credible 10th spot.

The Dutchman has given opportunities to a number of young graduates over the past year and the trend has continued this term. However, they have lacked the firepower upfront and have had to cope with the absence of key forwards.

Both Tom Lawrence and Martyn Waghorn have just returned after injuries and Cocu will be hoping that the duo can find their scoring touch. They netted a combined tally of 21 goals and registered a further nine assists in the Championship last season.

Elsewhere, Rooney’s presence was missed during the recent encounter at Huddersfield Town, where the Rams suffered a second 1-0 defeat on the bounce. Rooney, who scored the winning goal against Norwich City before the international break, is currently in self-isolation for three matches.

The former Manchester United star and England international recently came into contact with a close friend, who tested positive for COVID-19. He had tested negative for the virus, but must self-isolate for 14 days after meeting him outside of the bio-bubble. He will also miss the upcoming games against Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City.

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