Gary Rowett admitted to being ‘really disappointed’ after Derby County were beaten 2-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park Stadium.
Barry Douglas opened the scoring after 32 minutes with a shot which beat goalkeeper Scott Carson with the aid of a deflection off Rams skipper Richard Keogh.
Substitute Ivan Cavaleiro confirmed the victory for the visitors late on with a close-range finish following a swift counter-attack.
Rowett felt his side huffed and puffed whilst enjoying long spells of possession but conceded they were lacking a spark in the final third of the pitch.
It was certainly not the result anyone wanted nor expected in Derby’s first home fixture of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Rowett told RamsTV: “It wasn’t the result we wanted at all and that’s disappointing.
“I thought that we started quite well, actually. We had lots of possession and lots of the ball, but Wolves can make it difficult for teams by dropping into a strong, compact, shape.
“I felt there were two or three moments where if we’d have been a little bit braver, that we could have changed the game.
“There were a few moments where we had the opportunity to take the shot on but I felt as though we lacked a bit of self-belief.
“We huffed and puffed. Again, we had lots of the ball for most of the game, but as we all know, it’s not about that. It’s about what you do with the ball and we didn’t have enough options or enough brightness in the final third.
“I felt that as soon as Wolves scored, it was going to make it a difficult game. But again, we had moments on the counter-attack where we looked more dangerous but overall I was really disappointed.”
He added: “I felt that, at times, we were strong enough on the ball but we made it too easy for Wolves to play through the midfield and get the balls to the wing-backs.
“I’m struggling to remember too many times where we made a really strong tackle in the middle of the pitch to stop them getting that little bit of rhythm.”
Derby had 13 shots over the course of the game, three of which were on target.
The Rams got into some positive attacking areas but Rowett says his side looked like they were trying to be too deliberate.
With a home fixture to come against Preston North End on Tuesday evening, the 43-year-old is demanding an immediate reaction from his players.
He said: “There is absolutely loads to work on. It’s disappointing that we start our home campaign in this fashion but that’s what it is.
“It is disappointing for us but it’s also disappointing for the fans because, again, we got into some threatening positions but we just tried to be too deliberate.
“It hasn’t always got to be a wonderfully worked goal and at times, it was almost as though we were looking for that perfect goal.
“We have to be better at putting the opposition under pressure. I think we made about 10 one-twos around the edge of the box and that’s great but unless you get a shot off or something at the end of it, then it’s pointless.
“We’ve got no one else to blame but ourselves and we have to pick ourselves up and make sure that we react strongly on Tuesday night.”