Dutchman says the club will look at the ‘bigger picture’ of developing academy players for their first-team
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 19/07/19 5: 37pm
New Derby County boss Philip Cocu says achieving immediate Premier League promotion is not necessarily the club’s main aim.
The 48-year-old arrives at Pride Park on a four-year deal following Frank Lampard’s move to Chelsea after leading Derby to the play-off final last season.
And although Cocu says a top six finish is again one of the aims, achieving Premier League promotion is a longer target as the club looks at ‘the bigger picture’ of developing their academy players into first team regulars.
“Over the last few years, the club have tried to build something and I want to continue this process, this philosophy,” Cocu told the media in his first press conference.
“To develop players is very important for the philosophy we have – to try to make a plan for each individual player to make it possible to reach the first team.
“The first team as well needs to be competitive as we try to get into the top six with the Premier League a goal, but not necessary in the first season.
“The bigger picture is about the football we play and the development of individual players.”
‘We will spend prudently’
Owner Mel Morris echoed Cocu’s sentiments, insisting the club are unlikely to spend big before the transfer window closes in three weeks time.
He said: “There is money available but we’ve got a number of academy players approaching the point where they may feature, so we don’t want to be bringing in players in positions we could fill with an academy player in the next year or so.
“We don’t want to block that pathway.
“Of course, if there is no player coming through then we will look to purchase but we will still be very prudent and be targeted in what we do.
“We are not looking to have a big spend this summer but we will make sure Phillip has a squad that will be competitive this season.”
Sky Sports’ Adam Bate:
‘Like Lampard, Cocu is a former world-class midfielder. Unlike Lampard, he comes with proven coaching pedigree having won the Eredivisie three times with PSV.
‘That accomplishment might have been devalued around these parts given that former Derby boss Steve McClaren also won the trophy with FC Twente, but it should not be underestimated given the circumstances. PSV had not won the title for five years when Cocu got the job. He was central to the overhaul that brought success back to Eindhoven, embracing a more joined-up approach that put greater emphasis on youth.’
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