Nigel Clough has urged his Derby County squad to prove their 3-0 defeat to Burnley a fortnight ago was a one off.
The Rams are back in action on Saturday afternoon (3pm) following the first two-week international break of the season and will kick off a hectic run of games with an away fixture at Millwall.
Clough has conceded that the 14-day wait for the opportunity to put the Burnley game to bed has been a long one, but he now wants his side to take their frustration out in the right way against the Lions.
He told Rams Player: “It’s been good to get back to work so to speak and prepare for a game now the international break is over.
“The players had a bit of time off last week and that has been important, especially during these short spurts of matches at the start of the season.
“They were back in training earlier this week and it looks like there’s no hangover if you like from the Burnley game.
“We know we let ourselves down defensively on the day and also in front of goal too.
“The break has felt a bit longer than normal after a defeat like that and we hope all the frustration of the Burnley game comes out on Saturday.”
He added: “The break allowed us to look back on the opening weeks of the season and we know where we need to improve, while the Burnley game shouldn’t cast a shadow over the good football and fine goals we’ve scored along the way.”
Millwall currently lie in the relegation zone after five league matches this season and are without a win under the leadership of new manager Steve Lomas.
Despite their disappointing start, Clough is adamant that the Lions should not be underestimated.
He said: “They’ve got a few injuries and they’ve had a tricky start as well and the players know they certainly should not be underestimated.
“Steve Lomas did a good job in Scotland at St Johnstone and he’s taken over a team in a transitional period too, especially after replacing Kenny Jackett.
“They had a bad end to last season and Steve’s had to pick the players up from that, gel new signings in and empress his own style on the side at the same time.
“They’re not getting thrashed every week as well so they’ll feel a result is just around the corner, we just hope it isn’t against us.
“The Den is an intimidating place to go to but we’ve generally done well down there in terms of our performances, so it’s about time we got a result there.”
Derby have won all three of their away games so far this season in all competitions against Oldham Athletic (1-0 in Capital One Cup), 2-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion and 3-0 at Yeovil Town.
Clough is now targeting a fourth straight success, but has his sights set on ensuring Derby’s form at Pride Park Stadium also improves too.
He added: “Our away form has been really good so we want that to continue, although we’d love to get a few more points at Pride Park too if we had a choice.
“However, we have a very loyal away following and we hope we can continue to reward them with wins on our travels.”
Clough has also been impressed with Derby’s solid performances on their travels from a defensive point of view.
“Away from home we’ve looked really solid and yet at Pride Park we’ve found ourselves a bit vulnerable, and we can’t seem to put our finger on why exactly,” he said.
“The goals we have conceded though have been in the soft category, and it’s down to us to sort that out.”
Watch Nigel Clough’s full pre-match interview on Rams Player.