Much has been made over the managerial switch and, while fans and Morris regretted Lampard’s decision to leave Derby after just one year in charge, they now have a man with an impressive record at the helm.
The 48-year-old Cocu led PSV to three Eredivisie titles as well as the Dutch Cup in five years in charge, although he did last only 15 days in his previous role with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Derby chairman Morris joined Jim White on Monday ahead of the club’s Championship opener at Huddersfield – with LIVE commentary on talkSPORT 2.
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And while discussing this summer’s managerial changeover, he revealed a funny story about one of Cocu’s demands when he came to the club – and it had nothing to do with transfer funds…
Speaking to talkSPORT, Morris said: “I think there are some big similarities there [between Cocu and Lampard] – both are very good at inspiring and motivating people, particularly players.
“I think Frank in his first season of course was always going to have a need to focus on things he could actually control, and his second year was always going to be a step up for him to engage with more areas of the club and how things would function.
“But of course Phillip has been there and done that many times before and came with a set of expectations of what he wants to have in place, and he’s been very clear about what those things are.
“To give you an example, I always asked Frank and I ask Phillip as well: ‘What else can we do for you?’
“And Phillip said: ‘Well, I need a doorway from my office to the other coaches’ office so that I can connect with them all the time’.
“Now, that office has been the same for 20 years. He’s the first manager who has actually asked that question.
“It was done within 24 hours!
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“It’s a small thing but it’s symbolic of that collaborative approach to things. It’s attention to detail.
“It’s unfair to compare Frank in his first year with an experienced manager, but I could see Frank starting to focus on more and more things towards the end of his first year.
“I’m sure that’s going to set him up well from his time at Chelsea.”
Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Derby County manager Mel Morris IN FULL above!
New Derby County manager Phillip Cocu feels it will ‘difficult but not impossible’ to bring in Chelsea trio Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Ethan Ampadu on loan this summer.
Former Netherlands international Cocu is the club’s first ever foreign manager and has signed a four-year contract to succeed Frank Lampard.
Derby acted quickly to find a replacement for Lampard, who left after one season at Pride Park to take over at his former club Chelsea.
Much of the success Derby had under Lampard, in which they narrowly missed out on reaching the Premier League, came from the impact of on-loan stars Mount and Tomori, who was named Derby’s player of the year.
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“It will be difficult I think. I don’t say impossible,” Cocu replied when asked about the chances of bringing them back to Derby.
Phillip Cocu will replace Frank Lampard as Derby manager, the club have confirmed.
Former Netherlands international Cocu is the club’s first ever foreign manager, has signed a four-year contract and will be joined by assistant manager Chris Van Der Weerden and specialist first-team coach Twan Scheepers.
In addition, Derby say head goalkeeping coach, Shay Given, will remain as part of the new-look coaching team.
“I am pleased and honoured to confirm that Derby County will be my new club and can’t wait to meet with the team and the fans to start this adventure together,” Cocu, who has joined the team in Florida, told the official club website.
Phillip Cocu will link up with Derby at their pre-season training camp in Florida today, with Mel Morris saying the Netherlands legend will be appointed new Rams manager by this evening.
Morris, the Derby owner, joined talkSPORT on Thursday morning in the wake of Frank Lampard completing his move to Chelsea, to bid farewell to his departing head coach and provide an update on the search for their new boss.
And while the appointment of Cocu has been delayed due to Chelsea’s prolonged talks with Lampard, the deal bringing the former PSV and Barcelona midfielder to Pride Park should be confirmed before the end of Thursday.
In fact, Cocu is flying over to Florida to join Derby’s pre-season training camp, and Morris confirmed the appointment should be announced once the 48-year-old has landed in the United States.
“It’s been a bit unfortunate from our side that we couldn’t actually do anything until Chelsea had finally signed Frank, otherwise we had the risk of ending up with TWO managers – and that would have been very embarrassing I’m sure.
“But we are hoping today we can get it done.
“The only complication is that Phillip and a number of his staff will be flying out to Florida today to join the team over there, so the actual signing may be later in the day rather than this morning, but that’s the way things work out.
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“We were hoping to get it done last night, but it’s more likely it will be this evening when they arrive in Florida.”
Discussing what Cocu, who won three Eredivise titles while in charge of PSV, will bring to the Rams, Morris added: “The style of football is extremely similar to how Frank has been setting Derby up.
“His ability to embrace youth is something Phillip’s got a tremendous track record with. Plus, he’s got a phenomenal record of achieving success in the Eredivisie.
“From a supporter’s point of view it’s all about what happens on the field, and we are looking forward to some exciting football continuing the philosophy and style of play we put in place across the last season.”
On the decision to appoint Cocu, Morris continued: “We’ve said right the way along that with a replacement for Frank we would have to be very careful and make sure we are looking for the qualities that we want to continue with the club, which is the style of football, the philosophical match with the club, and shared values.
“We want someone to come on board who can also inspire the players, and we also want someone who the players can look up to for their playing career as well as in management.”
Lampard leaves Pride Park to become Chelsea’s new manager after just a single season, having guided the Rams to the Championship play-off final, where they lost to Aston Villa.
While there are doubts over the former Chelsea midfielder’s suitability for such a huge job at this early stage of his career, Morris has no doubts he will do ‘exceptionally well’ in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
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