Manager Frank Lampard could not fault the effort of his Derby County players but felt his side’s quality level was not quite there this afternoon as they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday.
The Rams took the lead on 10 minutes through Bradley Johnson’s first goal of the season with a fine header from a corner.
However, in the second half, Dominic Iorfa equalised Sheffield Wednesday just before the hour mark with a header of his own.
Lampard’s side fought for a winner as Scott Malone struck the post, Jayden Bogle forced a good save from the Wednesday goalkeeper and Johnson almost scored in the final five minutes with a deflected strike from distance.
“It was a tough match and it was always going to be against Sheffield Wednesday,” Lampard told RamsTV. “We weren’t at our best, but I thought we competed pretty well.
“The lads gave everything and in the last 20 minutes we had a lot of opportunities to win the game. I was slightly disappointed on that front but we have to take the point, which puts us back in the top-six, and we move on.
“Nothing is given in this league, particularly against a team who are in a good run of form and haven’t lost in quite a while.
“From our point of view, we weren’t at our best, but we started with good intensity to get the goal up then we dropped off slightly.
“In the second-half we were pushing and we will take something out of that fact. I thought our quality level wasn’t quite as it could be.
“In terms of competing, I thought the full-backs were fantastic. Scott Malone and Jayden Bogle both had great chances in the second-half. Jayden's was a particularly good move which would have been a great goal.”
Johnson’s goal came on his 100th league start for the Rams. “It was a good header,” Lampard said. “We have been working on set pieces and being a bit more dangerous in the attacking areas. It was a very good header to get us in the lead.”
The unfortunate incident of the afternoon was the injury sustained to winger Mason Bennett in the first half and the manager gave an update on the situation
“It is a groin injury but I don’t know the extent of it,” Lampard commented. “The international break is coming so that is two weeks of it, so hopefully it won’t be too long.
“It is unlucky that Mason has had loads of these little moments, but it toughens him up as a character and that is a good thing because he will be ready to get over it. He will give everything and hopefully it is at the lighter end of the scale of the injury.”