Phillip Cocu determined to make Derby County's fans proud by gaining revenge on Nottingham Forest

Matt Clarke (left) challenges Forest's Rafa Mir. Photo by Jez Tighe.
Matt Clarke (left) challenges Forest's Rafa Mir. Photo by Jez Tighe.

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu says he wants his players to make the club's fans proud by avenging Tuesday night's Carabao Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest.

Cocu was speaking after seeing the Rams lose 3-0 at the City Ground, having made ten changes to the side that drew with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

And with two league encounters still to be played this season between the two sides, Cocu was left disappointed but determined that Tuesday's result will be a one-off and that fans will be repaid for their support.

He told RamsTV: "They try to support us with the loud crowd. We heard them until the last second and I'm disappointed for them as it was a big game.

"It was a huge crowd, a lot of fans supported us as well, over 3,000, but it was great support for the team.

“We say thanks and we realise it is disappointing that we didn’t win but we still have two league games to go against them and the league is extremely important for us so we will make sure that we make our fans proud in these games.”

On the performance, Cocu felt the first Forest goal deflated his team.

He said: "I’m disappointed. It was two teams with two different line ups than in the league.

“Just after their first goal from the corner, we just couldn’t get back into the game. We couldn’t turn it around and get back into the game. When they scored the second it proved to be even more difficult.

“I think the second half we started well with more pressure towards their goal and some chances, but it was bad luck for Curtis Davies with the third goal. Ben Hamer saw the ball, but it was like a rocket and from then it’s game over.

“We tried to get a goal back in the second half to try and get a draw but it was not possible. We put a few young players in with a mixture of older players, who knew these kind of games and had the experience, but we have to focus on the league now."

On the number of changes made to his team, Cocu felt it was important to give certain players game time.

“Duane Holmes worked hard to get back,” he said. “He will improve but he needs these games to play in the league and put his qualities inside our team. I’m happy he played.

“Curtis Davies played another game and he did well. After a long injury, he needs these kinds of games.

“Matt Clarke is adapting to our playing style. He is used to a different style of playing football. All players have experience. It’s difficult to accept but today you have to say that Forest was a little bit better than we were.”