Phillip Cocu was quick to praise Derby County’s patience after they claimed a 2-1 victory over Reading at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In their first behind-closed-doors fixture on home turf since the resumption of the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season earlier this month, following a three-month break due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Derby recorded their fourth league win in a row.
Tom Lawrence and Wayne Rooney’s goals late in the first half rounded off a dominant first-half display from Cocu’s side.
After the break, however, Reading provided more of a threat and they pulled a goal back through Andy Rinomhota just after the hour mark.
Derby displayed plenty of resilience as Reading posed some questions of them defensively and Cocu felt his side displayed patience in their performance to record another valuable victory.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, Cocu said: “For the first 60 minutes, I think we played well.
“We needed to have patience today because Reading are extremely well organised.
“We had space to play in their half and in the pockets and we could see they knew what game we wanted to play. We had the patience.
“We started to take initiative from the centre back position with Andre Wisdom and we created more in the final third and it was positive.
“After Reading’s goal, to make it 2-1, it changed the game. We were not able to play our game anymore and they took more risks. In the end, it was a win, but it was tight in the end.”
Lawrence and Reading centre-back Matt Miazga were both sent off by referee Scott Duncan immediately after full-time following a clash just after the final whistle.
Cocu was less than impressed with the incident which will now see Lawrence miss the Rams’ next three matches against Preston North End, Nottingham Forest and West Bromwich Albion.
He said: “I didn’t see it happen, but I don’t care how it happened.
“I am extremely disappointed that a player gets a red card after you win the game. You should take control over your emotions and especially when you have a win and get a goal. I’m extremely upset about it.
“He confirmed today he is in good offensive player, and his defensive play too, but if you let the team down by not being available for three games, then that’s not something we can have in our squad.”
Derby return to action on Wednesday evening with a trip north to take on Preston North End at Deepdale (5pm kick-off).