Phillip Cocu has revealed his first meeting with owner Mel Morris lasted hours and convinced him to join Derby.
The ex-Holland international, formerly of PSV and Fenerbahce manager, has taken a job in the Championship because he can see the potential of Derby – and knows he has the passion to match.
‘The idea behind it is important,’ said Cocu. ‘I know you have to bring a certain performance, it is normal, that doesn’t matter if you’re in La Liga or Holland.
‘But football is wider. Derby invested a lot in the academy and over a couple of years they have built something. They want to continue in this process.’
Morris presented a compelling case to succeed Frank Lampard, who gained a cult reputation at Pride Park for bringing through young players and promoting a passing style. Cocu wants to carry that on.
‘I had a few days in London and it was a good time to have a conversation about Derby, the philosophy,’ Cocu said.
‘It was very pleasant. It is important for me as manager to know how it would work and if our core values matched. It was a few hours, quite a long talk.’
Morris described Cocu’s appointment as a coup and believes the former Barcelona midfielder can have a huge impact on Derby’s players. Cocu knows the style he wants.
‘Ball possession,’ he said. ‘Not only to have the ball, but to create something. Not too direct, long passing. I like the short passing, dynamic in the team, a lot of movement.
‘I saw many games of last season and it is not so different the way I like to play. You don’t have to change a lot, only details.
‘We would like top six but things will not come easy.’