Phillip Cocu says everyone in the Derby County camp must stick together as they look to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Millwall.
Tom Bradshaw’s first-half finish handed the Lions all three points as Derby’s four-month unbeaten run at Pride Park Stadium came to an end.
Derby struggled to break down the solid Millwall backline throughout, particularly in the second half as they applied plenty of pressure, and as a result tasted defeat on home turf for only the second time this season.
Cocu’s side haven’t won in their last five league outings, picking up two draws and three defeats, and the Rams’ boss has stressed the importance of everyone being united as they look to move up the Sky Bet Championship table.
Speaking to RamsTV after the final whistle, Cocu said: “It has been very disappointing few days not only for the side but also the fans.
“Only one point from two home games is what we didn’t expect from these matches. Like our fans, I am very disappointed.
“It is a difficult time right now and we are in a position we don’t want to be. At the moment, we have to stick together and work hard.”
He added: “Now is the time the team has to show that they really stick together to recover and get some points in our next two away games at Reading and Wigan. We know what we have to do.
“For today, I think we are allowed to be down. I cannot hide it; I am very disappointed as of course the players are. We are back in on Monday and we have to focus and straighten our backs and show we are a team to get out there and get a result in the next game.”
Derby have, for the vast majority of the season, struggled to score goals.
Cocu has admitted it is a reoccurring issue that needs to be rectified if the Rams are to climb the table in the weeks and months ahead.
He was also keen to stress that it isn’t an issue for just Derby’s attacking players, but across the whole team.
Cocu said: “I think it is a returning issue, scoring goals, and we have struggled all season to do that.
“In the first half today I think we played a little bit into Millwall’s hands we were too direct and that is football that they like.
“I think there were much better options if we had more courage to play from the back.
“In the second half we did that and Max Lowe and Jayden Bogle were in offensive mode, finding the final third and putting in a lot of crosses, a lot of set pieces, a lot of corners and there were some chances on goal we created.
“Normally one of those needs to be a goal and it changes the game. We are struggling so much finding the net and it is hard at the moment.”
He added: “Sometimes when you find the net in a game once or twice it can change also the feeling for the strikers in the next couple of games.
“We are pushing for it and it is not only for the strikers, but you see it in the whole team.”