Derby boss Phillip Cocu tight-lipped on player coach role at club for Wayne Rooney

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Phillip Cocu was tight-lipped on reports linking Derby with a move for former England captain Wayne Rooney after his side’s 2-1 Championship victory at Huddersfield.

The DC United striker has been linked with a possible player-coach role at Pride Park.

Cocu offered few clues as to whether there was any truth in the rumours following Monday’s win.

Asked whether Rooney would get into his side after they opened their season with a victory, Cocu joked: “Who?

“I’m sorry, I can’t say (anything). There are still three days and the market’s open.

“I’ve said before that we’re not done and we’re working to get the team complete, but I cannot talk about any names at this moment.”

Cocu was probed on how a player of Rooney’s profile might fit into his squad.

Without mentioning Rooney specifically, he added: “It never depends on a player because I like to talk always about my team, not about any player.

“In my opinion the team is always the most important. Never is a player more important than the team. That’s my vision.”

Despite asserting that his coaching team is complete, Cocu replied “I don’t know” when asked if there was room for a player-coach.

Tom Lawrence scored both Derby goals at the John Smith’s Stadium as part of a terrific first-half performance from the Wales international.

His first came after a defensive error from debutant Tommy Elphick, keeping his composure to lift the ball into an empty net, while his second was a well-taken left-footed strike from the edge of the box.

“World-class goals,” Cocu said. “He’s a quality player. He shows his quality on the ball and in combinations, works hard for the team. To start the season with two goals is very impressive.”

Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert was frustrated at his side’s failure to take their chances, with Karlan Grant scoring their only goal from the spot.

“I think we saw two different halves,” he explained. “In the first half we made it too easy for Lawrence to score and they took advantage of our mistakes.

“In the second half, I don’t think they had a shot on target, we had the chances and I think with those big chances we must have scored.

“It’s a game for me where we should have got something out of it.”

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Riyad Mahrez left out of the Community Shield win over doping fear, says Guardiola

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits he left Riyad Mahrez out of the Community Shield win against Liverpool over concerns the player could have potentially fallen foul of doping rules.

The 28-year-old Algerian only returned to training on Friday after leading his country to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations final last month.

However, notwithstanding that tight timescale Guardiola said they were not prepared to risk putting Mahrez in the squad because they did not have full disclosure of what medication the player might have received while he was away.

“Riyad called me just after being (crowned) champion with Algeria and said, ‘I want to come back in 10 days, I want to play against Liverpool’. I said, ‘You are more than welcome, it’s perfect you come’,” said Guardiola.

“But we don’t have what he took… about the medicine.

“That’s why, for doping control, today was a risk because the doctors didn’t have it. That’s why he wasn’t in the squad to play some minutes.

“He could have played some minutes but we could not take a risk because the doctors did not have exactly the medicines.

“Hopefully he will be back next game against West Ham and in the future everything will be normal.”

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Watch Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris say “everything is possible” for Spurs this season

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Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris are encouraged by what they have seen from Tottenham Hotspur in pre-season, with the skipper claiming “everything is possible” ahead of the new season.

Spurs lost on penalties to Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup on Sunday after the sides had drawn 1-1 after 90 minutes.

South Korea forward Son said: “I think the players are ready, looking really, really good, looking really, really sharp.

“Of course the pre-season is part of a very, very important (build-up to) the season. I think the players are training really, really hard and training really well and during the tournament (International Champions Cup) the play was fantastic.


“I’m really, really happy to see these guys, to be fit and to be confident and I can’t wait to start this season.”








Asked on the goals for the 2019/20 season, French goalkeeper Lloris added: “I think it’s to improve, like every year. I think that the target is to get better season after season and it’s going to be difficult to do better than last season in the Champions League but we believe everything is possible.


“In the Premier League, it’s to reduce the gap on the best but the main thing is to obviously to get the top four, it’s the main target. And then if we can do better, we will try to do better. But I think it’s a very exciting season ahead of us and in the most competitive league in the world.”



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