Professional Development Phase Coach Rory Delap believes that a draw against Swansea City would have been a fair result - after the Rams were beaten 2-1 at the Swans' Landore Training Ground.
A fast-paced start from Derby County’s Under 21s saw Rams forward Offrande Zanzala convert in style to put them 1-0 ahead.
However, an equalising goal from Adam King and penalty from Kenji Gorre inflicted defeat on Delap's side in a game where he felt they deserved more.
Following the game, Delap spoke exclusively to Rams Player HD and said: “I thought the lads started the game really well and set the tone of the game.
“They played at a high tempo, they pressed high and showed good quality on the ball.
“We scored a very good goal, but that actually seemed to knock us back a little bit.
“Swansea got more and more into the game after we scored and we didn’t do enough in the end to stop them.
“When they scored, it knocked a few of our lads, but we managed to get through to half time and we started the second half a bit better. The penalty, though, came really early on just as we were starting to get a grip.
“We were trying to force too many things after that and whilst it worked on a couple of occasions, we couldn’t find a way through.
“I didn’t think we deserved to lose today. We didn’t particularly deserve to win it either, so a draw would have been a fair result.”
The promotion-chasing Rams now have just three fixtures of the season remaining, with two of them set to be staged at the iPro Stadium against West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal, while their only remaining fixture is away to Fulham.
Whilst Derby are currently placed at the top of the table going into the campaign’s final stretch, Delap urged his players to finish their campaign strongly with Arsenal and Aston Villa in the chasing pack.
He added: “We have got to pick ourselves up now before Friday and make sure that we put it right against West Brom.
“We performed very well in patches against Swansea and we have got to start doing that again over prolonged spells.
“All of us need to be putting pressure on ourselves to do that again and manage a game as you would in the first team.
“It’s situations like these where you see reactions from the players who aspire to be in that position and want to win week in, week out.”
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