Saturday 19 October 2019

Given: I don't want to go to Chelsea

Shay Given has decided to stay at Derby County where Phillip Cocu has just been appointed manager
Shay Given has decided to stay at Derby County where Phillip Cocu has just been appointed manager

The lure of London was not enough to tempt Stay Given away from Derby County with the former Ireland international turning down the chance to join Frank Lampard's revolution at Chelsea in favour of remaining with the Rams.

And Irish defender Richard Keogh says he's excited by the prospect of working with his new boss as ex-Holland international Philip Cocu has been confirmed as Lampard's replacement at Derby.

Lampard took two members of his coaching staff from Derby to Chelsea when he completed his move earlier this week and he was keen to take Given as well, as goalkeeping coach.

But Derby confirmed that Given would be staying on with them, a boost for the Rams as they look to improve on last season when they impressed by making the promotion play-offs but missed out on a place in the Premier League.

"Shay Given will continue as Head Goalkeeping Coach as part of our new-look coaching team," the club said. Cocu and Given have not worked with each other before but they played against each other three times at international level, two wins for Ireland (2001, 2004) and a draw.


Lampard has taken his first steps as Blues' boss with the squad arriving in Dublin last night for a week of pre-season training. They will base themselves at Carton House and take in two friendly matches next week, against Bohemians at Dalymount Park (Wednesday) and St Patrick's Athletic (Saturday), both games are sold out.

Chelsea have pledged to field a full-strength XI in the two games in Dublin with subsequent pre-season games in Japan, Austria and Germany.

Derby are in Florida for their pre-season but Ireland man Keogh has already had the chance to speak to his new gaffer.

"I think it's going to be an exciting appointment," Keogh said of Cocu's arrival.

"We lost the old manager, the chairman said he wanted to keep what we had last year, the philosophy and the core principles that we are trying to create and I think we have found the perfect man in the new gaffer.

"We have met him now, he seems like a great guy, his vision of the club is what we want as players and now it's a case of getting down to work and getting ready for what, hopefully, will be another good season.

"He has played for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Barcelona and to get 100 caps for Holland speaks for itself," added Keogh. "I am looking forward to picking up his knowledge, as a player it's an opportunity to improve under a different style of play. I spoke to him briefly but as we move forward I am sure he will speak to everyone, ask the senior players' opinions and it's exciting to be back."

Cocu told the club's official site: "I am pleased and honoured to confirm that Derby County will be my new club and can't wait to meet with the team and the fans to start this adventure together."


The 48-year-old has already joined the squad in Florida for their pre-season training camp.

The former midfielder is joined at Pride Park by assistant manager Chris Van Der Weerden and specialist first-team coach Twan Scheepers.

Cocu is the Rams' seventh manager in four years and joins having previously won three Eredivisie titles as PSV Eindhoven boss between 2015 and 2018.

Cocu's last senior post was in Turkey with Fenerbahce but he lasted just four months and was sacked in October following one of the club's worst starts to a season, where he won just three times in 15 games.

Derby executive chairman Mel Morris said: "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."

Derby's new coaching staff have joined the first-team squad in Florida for a 10-day training camp with two friendly matches also scheduled.

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