Tom Huddlestone believes Wednesday evening’s 1-0 home defeat to Millwall is a lesson Derby County need to learn from quickly.
The Rams had the majority of the possession throughout the game but with the visitors sitting back and defending well, the hosts struggled to create chances in front of goal.
Dealing with breaking down a rigid defence is something Huddlestone believes the team needs to improve on quickly - as he predicts there will be more of that style to come in the next few months.
He told RamsTV: “It was a difficult night and one we have to learn from quickly because a lot of teams will try and do that against us.
“They put ten men behind the ball, stayed rigid and organised and aimed to hit us on the break so it is something we are going to have to work on.
“Tonight, we weren’t good enough individually or collectively. We didn’t create too many clear-cut chances and it should have been a boring 0-0 but they sucker-punched us on the counter-attack and nicked it.”
With Millwall fighting just above the relegation zone and Derby on the outskirts of the play-off places, the 32-year-old felt that it was three points dropped and especially as a win would have lifted them back into the top-six.
However, with 14 games remaining he believes there is all to play for with sixth place the Rams’ minimum aim.
“Any home game that you don’t win is an opportunity missed,” Huddlestone said.
“We had a couple of games in hand because of the good cup run we had but there is a long way to go and there will be a lot of twists and turns.
“Any team down to 11th or 12th will feel that they can get into the top-six. We are still in a decent position but one we need to improve on and at a minimum make sure we are in there.”
Frank Lampard's side will have an opportunity to quickly regain momentum with the East Midlands derby set for next Monday night at the City Ground against Nottingham Forest - and Huddlestone believes there is no better time to get back to their winning ways.
“We have got to stick together as a squad. Everybody is pulling in the right direction we just have to keep working hard, getting a bit of luck and building momentum,” he continued.
“I think the Forest game after tonight might be just what we need. It doesn’t need any geeing up, it is what it is. Us as players, especially us local ones and equally the fans, it is probably the biggest game of the season.
“There is no incentive needed there but after a home defeat to Millwall, it is probably coming at the right time.”