Derby deserved late leveller – Phillip Cocu

Derby boss Phillip Cocu felt his side deserved their last-gasp equaliser at Sky Bet Championship strugglers Wigan.

The home side had been knocking on the door for most of the game, with Antonee Robinson hitting a post in the first half, before substitute Joe Garner opened the scoring nine minutes from time.

But with seconds remaining of the four added minutes, former Wigan forward Martyn Waghorn struck to send his old club back to the bottom of the table.

And the Rams boss was satisfied enough with a share of the spoils.

“If I look at the game, in the first half we didn’t take advantage of the space they gave us – especially at the back of their defence,” Cocu said.

“They were pretty high up, but only on a few occasions did we try to run in behind. We tried to play, but we were sloppy with our decision-making on the ball.

“We’ve spoken recently about the need to have bravery in our play, but you also need to take into consideration the risk when you’re in possession.

“That’s where we struggled in the first half, and we didn’t create too much danger for them.

“They didn’t create too much, apart from free-kicks and corners, and I think in the second half we were much better.

“We were better on the ball, we used the space better, and we created chances on goal. If we’d have managed to score the first goal, it would have given us the boost we needed.

“They scored a fantastic goal, which was a big blow for our players.

“But we showed a good attitude, and we were determined to go to the last second to get a positive result.

“In the end I think a draw was a fair result, and it’s a positive and important result after so many recent defeats.”

For Wigan boss Paul Cook, it was a continuation of an astonishing sequence that has now seen his side drop 24 points from winning positions this season.

Cook had sent centre-back Chey Dunkley on to defend the last set-piece from Derby – and waste a bit more time – only for Waghorn to silence his former stomping ground.

“Chey Dunkley goes on, they put Curtis Davies up front…tactics and formations go out of the window at that point,” mused Cook. “It’s mentality, it’s strength of mind, it’s whose marking who at the end.

“Someone’s been marking Martyn Waghorn for 92 minutes, and in the 93rd minute, someone wasn’t marking Martyn Waghorn.

“That’s football, and I will take the blame for these lads, because the learning curve is quite brutal.

“We know we should have more points on the board, and any fair-minded observer would agree with that.

“The reality is we haven’t, and we have to live with that.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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