Academy Director Darren Wassall felt his Derby County Under-23s side deserved more from their defeat against Liverpool at Prenton Park.

Despite giving everything, a late Ovie Ejaria goal saw the table-topping Reds claim a 1-0 victory at Tranmere.

Despite the loss, Wassall took pride in the performance and felt his squad can take a lot of positives from that alone into the game that are coming up.

"I think we were very unlucky to not at least get a point,” he told

“The effort, application and the desire from the players, from start to finish, makes us feel aggrieved that we've put everything in to this game and come away with no points.

"I think we gave everything and then some more. For us to come with a young team and put on the type of performance like we have did, everybody at the club should be proud of our young players.

“They were excellent and very unlucky to not get a result."

With several players recently heading out on loan – including the likes of Max Lowe, Callum Guy, Charles Vernam and Offrande Zanzala – the look and feel of the Under-23s squad is very different.

That, however, has presented an opportunity to the likes of Sven Karic, Lewis Walker and Cameron Cresswell, whilst Max Hunt has also recently joined the club from Matlock Town to add to that mix.

He said: "With nine players going out on loan it gives players already at the club an opportunity to grasp their chance. I thought players like Cameron Cresswell who came in to the team did very well."

"We're always trying to get good players in, we've signed Max Hunt from Matlock and our recruitment team are not just working hard to make sure we get our players from local grassroots football but also nationwide and European football to improve every part of the club.”

The defeat against Liverpool keeps Derby in eighth place in the Premier League 2 Division 1 but Wassall doesn't believe the result will have a negative impact on his squad.

He said: "They were all gutted in the dressing room. To lose the game in the final two minutes when they've worked so hard to get a result they deserved is a bitter pill to swallow."

"They'll take many positives away. Coming to face the side that is top of the league and to put on a performance like that is excellent.”

Written by Richard Wakefield