After seeing his side on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening, Nigel Clough admitted his side were hard done by.
Clough felt a combination of bad luck, missed chances and decisions going against his side were the reasons behind their first defeat of the campaign at the Reebok Stadium.
Derby were on top for long spells of the game and looked on course for at least a point until Kevin Davies broke the deadlock 15 minutes from time, before Chris Eagles fired home a second in added time.
Speaking afterwards, Clough said: “We certainly didn’t deserve that scoreline and we were very hard done by.
“Decisions didn’t go our way all night, from the start when Conor Sammon went clean through to the first goal which we felt was a blatant push on Richard Keogh.
“When you compare that to the foul which Nathan Tyson was alleged to have committed when John Brayford had a goal ruled out, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
“We created plenty of chances but we have to take them when we’re on top in games, which we were for long spells.
“Bolton have a team littered with Premier League players and I thought we stood up the challenge well.
“We used the ball well and looked a threat, but we need to take our chances because if you don’t it can come back to haunt you – as we’ve found out in the last three games.”
Clough believes his players’ efforts have deserved more than a single point from their first two games of the league campaign, and he has urged the Rams to maintain their belief.
“The rub of the green was against us, which is very hard to take – especially for the players but if they keep playing and keep believing, their luck will change,” he said.
“The energy, the commitment and what the players are giving us cannot come into question, so if they keep doing that – and crucially take our chances when we’re on top – the results will come.
“We’re not concerned at this stage; yes we have one point from two games but we know how good the players are and how honest they are as well, and we just want them to get their rewards sooner rather than later.
“If we were playing poorly, not creating chances and not being in games, then we would be concerned.”
Clough handed a first appearance to new signing Conor Sammon at the Reebok Stadium, and was pleased with what he saw from the Irish striker.
He said: “Conor did well and we were pleased with him.
“He looked sharp, his hold-up play was good and he looked a threat, so to get 65 minutes under his belt was excellent for us and him.
“He’ll get better as time goes on as well, because he’s not played a lot of football recently.”
Clough also confirmed he hopes Jake Buxton, who missed the game with illness, will be available for Saturday’s game at Wolves.