LONDON (AFP) – Two terrific Tom Lawrence goals gave Phillip Cocu s Derby a 2-1 victory away to Huddersfield in their opening game of the Championship season on Monday.
Wales international Lawrence put Derby, last season s beaten play-off finalists, ahead on 22 minutes with a neat lob following a disastrous attempt at a backpass by Huddersfield debutant Tommy Elphick.
Lawrence grabbed his second three minutes later when he swept home superbly from the edge of the box in Derby s first competitive game under Cocu.
The 48-year-old played at the highest level with Barcelona and the Netherlands, winning more than 100 caps, and won the Eredivisie title with PSV Eindhoven three times as a manager.
He replaced Frank Lampard at Derby in July after the latter was appointed as the new manager at Stamford Bridge.
Derby challenged for promotion last season, falling at the final hurdle against Aston Villa at Wembley and Cocu said the club were also aiming high this season.
They made a winning start in Yorkshire as Huddersfield, who were relegated in May after two seasons in the Premier League, could only reply with a Karlan Grant penalty on the half-hour following a foul by Kieran Dowell on Juninho Bacuna.
“It s massive to get off to a good start. It s what you prepare for all through pre-season,” Lawrence told Sky Sports.
“It s always tough to take, losing in a play-off final, but we ve worked hard in pre-season with a new manager. We ve built into the philosophy that he wants.”