What Derby County boss Phillip Cocu complained about after Middlesbrough draw

Derby County boss Phillip Cocu didn’t think Middlesbrough should have been awarded a penalty during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at the Riverside.

Sunday, 12th January 2020, 4:45 pm
Derby boss Phillip Cocu didn't think Middlesbrough should have been awarded a penalty against his side.

The Rams had recovered from a goal down after Jason Knight’s equaliser nine minutes after half-time cancelled out Lewis Wing’s opener.

Boro then won themselves a penalty when Patrick Roberts was brought down by defender Matt Clarke inside the area, before Paddy McNair converted the resulting spot kick.

Cocu, though, felt referee Tim Robinson made the wrong call after his side had gained a foothold in the match.

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"For me it wasn't a penalty,” said the Derby boss after the game.

"From my angle it was clear that Matt Clarke played the ball in the tackle because the ball came towards us and Curtis (Davies) picked the ball up and continued playing.

"It didn't see it on the television or on a big screen but, yes, I thought it was a correct tackle.

"It was such a key moment in the game because in the second half we played very well, we scored the goal and I think we were close to getting the second goal and then the penalty changed the game again.”

Derby rescued a point after a stunning volley from midfielder Duane Holmes in stoppage time.

The game played out very differently to the Rams’ 2-0 win over Boro back in November, though, and Cocu has noticed a difference.

"I think the main difference is maybe because of the four wins they've had there is a lot more confidence in the team,” said Cocu when asked about the Teessiders. “I could see the change in Middlesbrough.

"It's always part of football that if the mentality is good - and they show great desire in the first half, they didn't give us a lot of time, we couldn't play our game - then you notice the confidence of the players has increased a lot so that's why I'm happy we got the equaliser in the end.

"And if you look at the entire game we deserved a point."