Derby appoint former Barcelona captain as manager

EFL Championship club Derby County have announced Phillip Cocu as their new manager.

The former PSV Eindhoven and Fenerbahce manager has signed a four-year contact at Pride Park.

Cocu replaces Frank Lampard, who was confirmed as the new manager of Chelsea on Thursday.

Derby were runners-up in the play-off final back in May as the fans suffered more agony in coming so close to promotion to the Premier League without being able to cross the line.

Mel Morris, Executive Chairman of Derby told the club’s official website:

“We are delighted to welcome Phillip Cocu as our new manager.

“We are continuing to develop our philosophy at Derby County and from the first conversation with Phillip, and his team, it was very clear they share similar views.

“The fit is strong. We want to build on the momentum that we have in our style of play, our club values, and the increasingly important role of our Academy. Phillip and his team understand the need and benefits of this approach.

“We had very specific criteria for identifying a new manager.”

As a player, Phillip Cocu gained 101 caps for the Netherlands, playing at the 1998 and 2006 World Cups, Euro 96, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, helping the team to reach the semi-finals in three of those tournaments.

He was predominantly a central midfielder but also played at left-back during a six-year spell at Barcelona where he won La Liga in 1999. He previously won the Dutch Eredivisie with PSV EIndhoven on four occasions as a player, and three times in five seasons as a manager.

Cocu’s latest managerial spell was in charge of Fenerbahce, where he was dismissed after winning only four of his 14 games in charge.