Phillip Cocu admitted there was a sense of frustration in the air that Derby County were unable to ‘kill the game’ as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Cardiff City at Pride Park Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Derby took the lead at the midway point of the first half through Martyn Waghorn’s delightful free-kick and had chances to double their lead before Kieffer Moore levelled for the visitors late on.
Curtis Davies, Kamil Jozwiak, Lee Buchanan and Tom Lawrence all had chances, but Moore struck to earn the Bluebirds a share of the spoils in the Sky Bet Championship fixture with 13 minutes remaining.
The draw was Derby’s second in as many games, following last Friday’s 1-1 scoreline against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Derby’s performances in the two matches have warranted a better return that just two points, which has left Cocu frustrated that his players have not been sufficiently rewarded for their efforts.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game against Cardiff, Cocu said: “It is frustrating we couldn’t get the win.
“Once again we played a really good first half. We tried to avoid their press in the first ten minutes, but after that we started to play as well. We knew Cardiff play quite direct with throw-ins and free-kicks and they don’t give away a lot of space.
“After scoring a great goal that was the time for us to decide the game. To score the second goal is what we needed to do. That is the difference and the last step we have to take.
“We have scored first in the last two games, so we need to kill the game with a second. It is tough in these tight games, but we have to kill the game with the second goal.”
On Waghorn’s goal, Cocu added: “It was a fantastic goal; a great free-kick.
“It gave the team the extra energy and the belief when we had the ball and Waggy is in a good place at the moment, back in the team and scoring.”
Goalkeeper David Marshall missed the clash with the Bluebirds with a minor injury sustained in training on Tuesday.
Cocu is hopeful the Scotland international goalkeeper, who was an ever-present in the league this term until Wednesday evening, will be able to resume training before the week is out.
“David picked up a small injury in the session on Tuesday,” Cocu said.
“He was doubtful, and had treatment, so we checked today with him. He did not feel good enough to start so that is why Kelle Roos played.”
Winger Kamil Jozwiak was carried off the pitch by the Rams' medical team at the end of the game after sustaining an ankle injury in the latter stages.
Cocu says the Polish international will have his situation assessed as soon as possible to determine the extent of the damage.
“Let’s say the way he came into the dressing room didn’t look good,” Cocu said.
“We will assess him tomorrow and hopefully it is not too bad because he is really starting to pick up his game.
“He played a really good game again today so hopefully we don’t lose him for long.”
Derby return to Sky Bet Championship action on Saturday when they make the long journey south to face AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium (3pm kick-off).