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Phillip Cocu: Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett ‘not off the hook’ after return at Barnsley

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Phillip Cocu has drawn six of his 10 league games in charge of Derby

Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett are aware they are “not off the hook” after returning to the Derby County side at Barnsley, but manager Phillip Cocu says the club must “move on”.

Lawrence won a penalty after starting the game, while Bennett came on as a substitute just before Barnsley’s injury-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw.

Both players were charged with drink-driving following a crash last month.

Cocu told BBC Radio Derby their response should be “on the pitch”.

The Dutchman said it was his decision to include the pair and that they need “to give the team, the fans and the club something back”.

“That’s why I did it [selected them],” he added. “It still doesn’t change the fact of what we said as a club. They are not off the hook.

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“We made it very clear that there will be disciplinary sanctions and actions for the players. But you have to move on after a certain time and they weren’t included in the last game.

“They are affected by it very much. I spoke the last few days a lot with the players and they were eager to go and play.”

The incident after a team night out that led to Lawrence and Bennett being charged and left out of the win over Birmingham on Saturday also resulted in captain Richard Keogh being sidelined for up to 15 months with a knee injury.

Stand-in skipper Curtis Davies has also implored his team-mates to restore the club’s damaged reputation.

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