I am reading this research paper authored by NS Manton on the Force between 't Hooft-Polyakov monopoles. I have a doubt in equation 3.6 and 3.7. We assume the gauge field for a slowly accelerating monopole to be $A_0 = \epsilon^2 a_i t A_1$, where $\epsilon^2$ is an infinitesimal. Also, we write $\partial_0 \phi = -\epsilon^2 a_i t \partial_i \phi$. Using this he writes $D_0\phi=-\epsilon^2 a_i t D_i \phi$, where $D_i\phi=\partial_i \phi + [A_i,\phi]$. Isnt the sign of the second term wrong?
Secondly, he says differentiation wrt t gives us, $D^0 D_0 \phi = \epsilon^2 a_i D_i \phi$. Shouldnt it be $\partial^0D_0 \phi$? Cause we are taking the actual derivative wrt t rather than the covariant derivative, WE should get some extra terms, do they cancel out? How does the minus sign disappear?
Does the covariant derivative behave like a normal derivative in any case?