Scott Carson explained that the 'quality just wasn’t there' for Derby County at Elland Road as they were beaten 2-0 by Leeds United.
Kemar Roofe struck midway through the first-half for the home side before Jack Harrison tapped in the second straight after the break to extend Leeds’ lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship table.
The Rams’ goalkeeper admitted that the Whites deserved the victory with their performance.
He was, however, quick to admit that Derby failed to hit the high standard that the team can play at.
Following the game, he told RamsTV: “There are no two ways about it, we know we didn’t play to the standards that we can.
“We knew Leeds were a good side and we had to bring our 'A Game' but tonight we didn’t do that. We got punished and Leeds thoroughly deserved the win.
“We can’t complain about that - we didn’t do what we had to do.”
Carson added: “I think the first 35 minutes, credit to Leeds, they pressed us really hard and it felt like every time we got a touch on the ball – it wasn’t just one of them, there were two, three of them around the ball.
“They were making it difficult.”
Despite a difficult start, Carson believes that the team grew in to the game and chances came through Mason Mount, David Nugent and Duane Holmes - but they couldn't find the net.
The 33-year-old praised the Rams’ desire to not give in, but said the quality wasn’t there to find a way back into the game.
“The last ten minutes of the first-half, we settled down a little bit, we seemed to get more control of the ball but without creating chances,” said Carson.
“Going in at 1-0, we knew we were still in the game and we regrouped. We were dealt the blow one minute in to the second-half and it was a kick in the teeth.
“In the second-half, we didn’t create many chances, but we never gave in, we kept going. The lads were trying to put tackles in and were working hard.
“It wasn’t as if we downed tools, we kept plugging away to try and make things happen but quality just wasn’t there.”
With a four-point cushion ahead of the match ahead of seventh place, Derby will remain in the top six following the weekend's action.
They will momentarily switch their attention to the Emirates FA Cup for a Third Round replay against Southampton on Wednesday night, following a 2-2 draw against the Premier League side last weekend.
Carson sees it as an opportunity to build confidence and momentum before next weekend's home fixture at Pride Park Stadium against Reading.
He said: “It’s another game where we can go out without any pressure and hopefully work on a few things and get some confidence back because next Saturday is another big one and that’s what we need to focus on and get right for.
“We have had quite a few tough games of late and we need to get back to it and string some three points together and try and get back up the table.
“There is a long way to go in the Championship and a lot of games left and we can’t get too disheartened.”