Derby manager Phillip Cocu was proud of his players after they ended a tough week for the club with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

The sacking of captain Richard Keogh for gross misconduct following the incident in which Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett were convicted of drink-driving could have impacted on the team but they cruised to a fourth consecutive home win.

Lawrence scored twice while 'Boro had George Saville shown a red card for a first-half lunge on Krystian Bielik and remain in the relegation zone.

The result gave Cocu a happy ending to another tough week.

"I have spoken about it and it's a difficult week," Cocu said. "We needed the win because it was just not a normal game.

"It's easier said than done to say it has an impact on everybody, there's no doubt, but we have to play and have to focus on the game and show our best and be professional.

"And I think they showed that they are and did an excellent job and that's not easy, I can assure you. So I am proud of the performance of the team.

"The dynamic and the spirit in the team was really good and that was important for me to see."

Lawrence scored his first goals since his conviction last month and Cocu said: "I have to say with two goals everyone is focused on this performance and he played very well today.

"But in the last couple of games he also played very good so I think he is in a very strong and good moment."