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Cocu: I'm not going to try to be like Lampard

10:02 EAT 20/07/2019
Phillip Cocu
The former PSV coach plans to be his own man and does not feel the need to emulate his predecessor

Phillip Cocu will not try to fill Frank Lampard's shoes after taking charge of Derby County.

Former PSV boss Cocu was appointed as Lampard's successor at the Championship club after the ex-England midfielder returned to Chelsea as their new head coach.

But the Dutchman says he will be his own man as he attempts to steer the Rams back into the Premier League.

"First of all, I'm very happy to be here, of course," Cocu said at his unveiling on Friday. "I think this is the right step in my career - and the right fit.

"I can imagine the fans are sad he's gone, because he did a good job. But it is a great opportunity for him to lead a team like Chelsea.

"I'm not going to try to be like him - I'll be myself - but what I like is the bond between the club and the fans."

Derby lost to Aston Villa in the play-off final last season and Cocu feels, if his squad is strengthened, another top-six finish is a realistic goal for the 2019-20 campaign.

"We are still working on strengthening the team," Cocu added. "It is very important to judge the players we have.

"But in certain positions, we need some players with more experience, to guide the rest of the young team. There's no buying just for buying. There always has to be an idea behind it.

"I believe we have the potential to be in the top six again. And reaching the play-off final last season is one more experience for the players. Especially with a younger squad, you need those experiences."

Cocu won three Eredivisie titles in four years between 2014 and 2018 with PSV, while also claiming a KNVB Cup during his time as caretaker in the 2011-12 season.

He was also an assistant manager to Bert van Marwijk in the Netherlands’ 2010 World Cup campaign, where they were beaten in extra-time in the final by Spain.