Nottingham Forest rally for a point in the East Midlands derby as Phillip Cocu’s future as Derby manager hangs in the balance with Wayne Rooney ready to replace Dutchman
- Taylor rescued a point for Nottingham Forest with his first goal for the club
- Taylor poked home from close range to cancel out Waghorn’s brilliant opener
- Derby winger Kamil Jozwiak had a goal ruled out for offside in 77th minute
Taking the lead is one thing, hanging on to it quite another. As is so often the case with these two East Midlands neighbours, El Cloughico tends to end honours even.
There is a bigger picture here for both teams. The Wayne Rooney position at Derby and the inheriting of a confidence-lacking team at Forest will both occupy minds and agendas in the coming days as will the lowly position in the Championship table.
Stuck at home self-isolating, Rooney’s team-mates showed they could play without him, illustrated by a wonder free kick from Martyn Waghorn which put the visitors ahead. It turned out not to be a winner because of an Anthony Knockaert-inspired comeback saw Lyle Taylor mop up an equaliser from close range.
Derby striker Martyn Waghorn scored his first goal in eight months on Friday night
Derby went on to have a goal chalked off, Polish youngster Kamil Jozwiak’s strike ruled offside and had a penalty appeal dismissed although it looked as if Tom Lawrence was barely touched by Ryan Yates.
‘I hope people can understand why I get so frustrated at key moments,’ said Derby head coach Philip Cocu.
‘These decisions by referees, they are not small details, they are crucial in the game. They say Lawrence is a penalty, I didn’t see it. We are working hard to get results and to get up the table.
The Derby striker fired home a stunning 25-yard free-kick for the opening goal
‘If we don’t deserve to win I will say it. We played really well in the first half and even after the goal we were close to winning the game.’
No Derby fans need telling their team have been doing badly – three points from the opening six League matches was their worst start in 28 years. Going into this match County had scored two goals and conceded 10. The only side with worse figures in the Championship are Wycombe.
Cocu has been looking ever more world weary, batting away constant questions about his future and Rooney’s status as manager-in-waiting. This was a better performance and highlighted the fact Forest are also in a bit of a state.
Anthony Knockaert-inspired fightback saw Lyle Taylor mop up an equaliser from close range
Hughton has been around the block often enough to know that there will be a minimal honeymoon period. Joe Lolley’s 90th minute decider at Blackburn was gratefully received and these two home draws has at least extended the unbeaten run to three after losing all five opening League and Cup games.
‘I’m pleased with some aspects, disappointed with others,’ was the Hughton verdict. ‘We started poorly like we did on Tuesday. We need to start better.’
Derby did that with Waghorn scoring his first goal since February, a pearler of a free kick from 25 yards. As expected, Forest replied but having equalised through Taylor sat back.
Young Polish winger Kamil Jozwiak had an effort ruled out for offside in the 77th minute