Phillip Cocu admitted he was frustrated that Derby County weren’t able to record a sixth successive victory at Pride Park Stadium as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
Derby took the lead midway through the first half of their latest Sky Bet Championship fixture as Martyn Waghorn superbly curled home a free-kick from the edge of the box.
Waghorn was then involved as Rangers levelled from the spot in first-half injury time after he brought down Bright Osayi-Samuel in the box, with Ebere Eze putting the penalty away.
Derby had chances in the second half to claim victory but had to be content with a share of the spoils.
Despite being frustrated at not claiming all three points, the draw did see the Rams extend their unbeaten run on home turf to eight games.
Speaking to RamsTV after the final whistle, Cocu commented: “We started well and after the goal, I think in the first-half when we had the ball, we weren’t good enough and we could have been better.
“Then in the last minute before half-time it was such an unnecessary penalty that we gave away.
“You cannot do anything in that spot, so if there is body contact then you get a penalty. It shows it is key and it is costing us a lot of points in this league. It is what I am really disappointed and upset about because a 1-0 win would be a good score for us.
“In the second-half we played much better. We showed more pace, higher tempo and better movement with a lot of crosses. There were some chances, but we didn’t score the second one that we needed.”
Waghorn’s first-half free-kick was his second goal in three matches and his sixth of the season.
The manager was once again keen to highlight the importance of set-pieces.
He said: “It was a great quality free-kick. It confirms what I said from the start of the season that set pieces are key elements in football.
“I am happy that we showed also the positive side from set-pieces, last time against Preston with the corner as Waggy scored in the 1-0 win and this time the free-kick.
“If you only concede and not produce, it is a tough battle to win. We are improving with them, also with the corners, they had six or seven and we did much better.”
Wayne Rooney joined Cocu and coaching staff in the dugout after linking up with the Rams on a full-time basis this week.
He will officially become a Derby player in January and ahead of kick-off he was introduced to the home crowd.
He said: “For us it was good and positive to have Wayne around; it is almost normal now. He has been around for quite some time; he is one of the team and getting to know the players and also the team process in how we want to play and also the tactics.
“The best way is to stay connected with the players and staff which he did, so we were happy he was with us.”