Cocu leaves struggling Derby

London (AFP) –

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Derby manager Phillip Cocu left the struggling Championship club by mutual consent on Saturday.

Former Barcelona and Netherlands midfielder Cocu took charge of Derby last year following Frank Lampard's move to Chelsea.

The 50-year-old was unable to mount the desired promotion push and Derby finished 10th last season before slumping to the bottom of the table this term.

Derby had won only one of their first 11 league games this season as pressure mounted on Cocu.

Cocu missed the Rams' last game -- a defeat against Barnsley -- because he is currently self-isolating having been in close contact with Derby chief executive Stephen Pearce, who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Former England captain Wayne Rooney joined Derby in January as the 35-year-old looked to take his first steps into coaching while also continuing his playing carer.

Following Cocu's departure, it has been suggested the ex-Manchester United striker could now be set to take over as manager.

"The club would like to place on record its appreciation for the way Phillip and his staff conducted themselves in what were some extremely challenging situations during his tenure," a Derby statement said on Saturday.

"Phillip and his staff helped develop and establish a considerable number of academy players in to the first-team squad and Phillip made significant financial contributions and personal efforts towards the club's community projects during the Covid-19 pandemic, which the club are extremely grateful for.

"The club will provide further updates when appropriate and will be making no further comment in the meantime."