Manager Frank Lampard was pleased with his side following their 1-0 victory against Wigan Athletic - but still thinks they can improve.
The Rams jumped up to third place in the Sky Bet Championship table following the win at the DW Stadium, prior to the late kick-off between Reading and Sheffield United.
Jack Marriott’s eighth goal of the season, as he headed home on 21 minutes from Jayden Bogle's right-wing cross, secured all three points after the hosts went down to 10 men early in the game following Kal Naismith's red card.
Lampard’s side dominated the opening 45 minutes of the game and created a number of chances to be further ahead, however, Wigan applied more pressure after the break to test the Rams defensively.
“I’m happy with the clean sheet and they generally do help you win games,” Lampard told RamsTV. “I’m really pleased with the first half, I thought we were fantastic.
“It should have been two or three nil at half time if we were more clinical but it wasn’t and we had to dig in in the second half.
“Our quality went down which disappointed me but I really thought the performance of the defence was very good today. Richard Keogh and Fikayo Tomori were good today and I thought Scott Carson was very assured and sometimes you need to rely on those things and that got us the win.
“Scott took a whack to the head and it was a worry but he came through fine. There were some good moments in the game and I thought we deserved to win the game.
“It was a clear red card and then Jack Marriott’s quality in a clinical directed header wins us the game.”
Marriott has shown his clinical side ever since signing for the Rams in the summer from Peterborough United and the manager again heaped praise on the striker.
“I’m really pleased for Jack,” said Lampard. “It’s not easy when you miss a game through injury and then you come back in but he was sharp and he has that knack which thankfully won us the game.
“It was a really good, well-placed header and I was pleased with him. It was also a great cross from Jayden Bogle which pleased me. He put in a number of good crosses into the box today and he’s been working on that so I’m pleased.”
Derby face a local derby clash against Nottingham Forest next at Pride Park Stadium a week on Monday, and Lampard is looking forward to his first local derby as a manager.
“We all know what’s coming,” commented the boss. “It will be a big game and it will be another three points against a competitor so we look forward to it.
“The lads deserve a rest and they will get that for a couple of days but it is a long week of preparation.
“I know the fans will be up for it and we want to make sure we turn up and give our usual account of ourselves that we can at Pride Park and we look forward to the occasion.
“I’m proud of the fact we are there. When you look at how much teams have spent, including Nottingham Forest, they have recruited a lot in the summer.
"It’s been a transitional period for us so I think the fact we are up there at the moment is a great credit to the work the lads are doing out on the pitch.
“Forest are a strong team and they have been on a good run of form of late and we know that the derby factor, the passion, the atmosphere, will bring different elements to the game so we will have to be ready for it.”