Derby County manager Phillip Cocu singled out defender Curtis Davies for praise for his performance in the 3-2 win over Birmingham City, RamsTV report.
The Rams have had to endure a torrid week leading up to the Blues’ visit.
Curtis Davies came in for Richard Keogh who has been ruled out for the season, and the veteran put in a leader-type display against a difficult Birmingham side.
Chris Martin, Martyn Waghorn and Jamie Paterson were the goal scorers for the Rams. However, Cocu felt Davies was his side’s outstanding player at Pride Park.
What Curtis did today for the team was outstanding. Normally I don’t like to talk too much about individual players, but he had a difficult period after his injury and adjusting a little to the style that we like. I know what he did was special, and he deserves the compliments. I’m really proud of him.
Davies was making his first Championship start for the Rams since suffering an unfortunate season-ending injury at Stoke City last November.
The 34-year-old was named captain, and he led by example. Davies posted two interceptions, six clearances and an impressive 11 aerial winners up against Lukas Jutkiewicz.
Davies’s performance was even more impressive considering Krystian Bielik had a poor game. Moreover, Birmingham invited the former Hull City man to play out from the back.
Davies isn’t renowned for his passing ability under pressure. However, he posted a team-high 86.2% pass-accuracy rate and took more touches (79) than any other Rams player.