Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence will learn from 'tragic moment', says Derby boss Phillip Cocu
Cocu: "They still have to deal with the stuff that came out and the community service, so it's time to leave it behind, accept it and most of all learn from it."
Last Updated: 17/10/19 5:30pm
Derby manager Phillip Cocu believes Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence will learn from their "very tragic and difficult moment" after they pleaded guilty to drink driving.
The pair were ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, given a 12-month community order and disqualified from driving for two years on Tuesday, following an incident after a team night out in September.
Cocu admits it has been a tough period for the club as a whole with all the publicity surrounding the incident, along with captain Richard Keogh being ruled out for 15 months due to an injury sustained in the crash.
He said: "It had a very, very big impact on the players so that's what I tried to explain after the incident. Of course, the club and me have to take disciplinary actions because of the actions of the players but we don't go by the impact it has on the players involved as well.
"That's why it's very important they learn from this very tragic and difficult moment. They still have a long career ahead with good times, positive things, but also difficult moments.
"How you deal with difficult events forms you as a person and for us it's important that this will not happen again."
Both Bennett and Lawrence were previously fined six weeks' wages by Derby and given 80-hour community service orders for breaking a curfew and bringing the Championship club into disrepute.
Cocu added: "I think we have been very clear as a club after the incident by our reaction about the disciplinary actions we took.
"I don't want to get involved in what happened in court. That's court and it's been done. Also it's now about time that the players can focus on their game again 100 per cent and put their effort on the training pitch and in the game.
"They still have to deal with the stuff that came out and the community service, so it's time to leave it behind, accept it and most of all learn from it. That's maybe the most important and go forward now."
However, Cocu insists the issue has now been dealt with appropriately and wishes to concentrate on footballing matters now legal proceedings have been resolved.
"We are a team. This has an impact on everybody, of course. We have to deal with it together - I think we did.
"The last two weeks have been intense. That's why I think it's important for us now after the break and after the decision in court. We have to draw a line now.
"Today we talk about it but then it has to be about football because we have to give the team and the players the possibility to perform in a very good way for the club to give the maximum for the fans and the club."