Derby will ‘fight until the last second’ after crisis meeting ahead of City clash

It's been a frustrating start to the season for Derby manager Phillip Cocu Picture: Nigel French/PA

It's been a frustrating start to the season for Derby manager Phillip Cocu Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Phillip Cocu respects the quality Norwich City possess but has pledged Derby will “fight until the last second” as they try to end their poor start to the Championship season at Carrow Road.

The Rams have lost all three of their league games so far, after a poor end to last season saw them end up 10th and six points from the play-off places during the former Barcelona and Holland midfielder’s first campaign in charge.

“A big team, quality players, but we all know that in the Championship everything is possible,” Cocu said of the Canaries.

“We have to believe in ourselves, we have respect for the opponents, we know they have the qualities within their team but we also believe that if we do what we can do, we are tough to beat.

“It’s with this mentality that we will travel, to go into that game to be tough to beat and try to explore our qualities within the game, to fight until the last second to get a good result.”

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Slumping to a 4-0 home defeat to Blackburn last weekend led to a lengthy team meeting to get some issues out in the open.

Speaking to Rams TV, Cocu explained: “We always have a post-match (debrief) after the game, most of the time we look at clips from the game, the positive moments where we played the football that we want to play and that I like to see, and always some elements that we would like to improve.

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“We didn’t look at all at clips. I think it was important to talk, about how we approach the game, how we present ourselves, who we are on the pitch - to start preparing for Saturday on the Monday.

“We had a long meeting, maybe over an hour, but positive to get more feedback from the players and they also spoke to each other more because in the process of becoming a team a part of it happens on the pitch and in training, but also a lot has to happen off the pitch.”

The Rams remain without midfielder Tom Lawrence and striker Martyn Waghorn as they ease back into full training after injuries.

Defensive midfielder Krystian Bielik is back in training after a long-term knee injury but former Bournemouth winger Jordan Ibe is not yet ready to play after signing as a free agent.

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