Forward Martyn Waghorn felt Derby County caused Premier League side Chelsea several problems during yesterday’s 3-2 Carabao Cup defeat and felt his side deserved more from the game.
The Rams bowed out of the cup following the defeat at Stamford Bridge last night but they put in a spirited display which deserved more.
After twice equalising, the second time through Waghorn, Frank Lampard’s side forced a number of good chances, notably through Jack Marriott and David Nugent, but were unfortunately denied.
“I thought the lads were absolutely fantastic,” Waghorn told RamsTV. “We’ve come here, defended well and not only worked hard as a team but we have caused a strong Chelsea side a lot of problems.
“In the first half we had opportunities to take the lead, myself included, and in the second half, late on, we dug in, hit the post and goes back into the goalkeeper’s hands and Jack’s had a couple of chances.
“It shows great character from the boys to turn it around and potentially take the lead. It was bitterly disappointing to concede the two own goals that we did in the first half.
“It is very unfortunate and does happen, especially with it happening at Boro, but we have to take it on the chin and move on. It shows testament to the boys on where we are as a team and as a group of lads. To come back and show the fighting spirit we had was unbelievable.
“On another day, they go in but we’ve come here, done fantastic as a team, it shows where we are at and how confident we are on the road so I’m very happy, but disappointed we’ve lost at Stamford Bridge.”
The former Ipswich man netted his third goal for the club, and second in this competition, after a strike from close range on 27 minutes. However, he could have given the Rams the lead minutes earlier after being released through on goal but he hit his effort straight at Willy Caballero.
“I’ve got through and changed mind at the last minute about whether I shift it on to my left foot or square it but in the end I’ve done neither and tried to get something away last minute,” he said.
“I was bitterly disappointed that I didn’t just put my laces through it and do what I was taught when I was a young lad but I was glad I could get the equaliser.”
Attention now turns to recovery and the Sky Bet Championship. Seven points from nine have propelled Derby back into the play-off positions and Waghorn wants to continue that form and climb the table.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down now because we’ve got a big game on Saturday,” commented the 28-year-old. “We have got to get back to the training ground and prepare for that.
“We’ve put ourselves in great credit, coming to Stamford Bridge and to Old Trafford, but we are back to league action now and we mean business. We need to stamp our authority in that and kick on.
“We have got to build on the positive results we did have before this result and go back to that mentality and enjoy a good couple of games.”