​Phillip Cocu has admitted that his Derby County squad have found it hard to deal with the fallout from the incident in September which resulted in captain Richard Keogh's dismissal from the club. 

Keogh was a passenger in a car crash in which teammates Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett were driving drunk, and suffered a leg injury which is expected to put him out of action for over a year. 

Phillip Cocu

The club announced, a month later, that they were cancelling Keogh's contract (which was due to run out at the end of the season), although Lawrence and Bennett are still part of the first-team picture. 

“It really has been tough for all of us," Cocu told ​The Telegraph. "It’s not easy because the impact is so big. As a player and manager, I’ve had incidents like this before. A lot of stuff happens, and you have to deal with it. Not everybody is the same. It’s easy to judge, but all are different. 

“Yes, I was angry and very disappointed it happened because one player [Keogh] now cannot play. You cannot please everybody and we understand a lot of different opinions will always be there. We’ve spoken a lot since. We discussed what happened but we’ve also told them what we want and expect of the players in the future.”


Cocu will welcome a new senior figure to Pride Park before long though, with ​Wayne Rooney set to join up as player-coach next month. England's record goalscorer can't play until January, but his new boss said: "For a player like Wayne to come here, everyone will benefit. It’s not only on the pitch when we play games, it’s through the whole club.

“He needs a break now but it’s all positive and shows his character, he is thinking about when he can play and doing his workload now. He will be ready and we’re delighted to have him.”

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