Manager Frank Lampard gave an honest assessment of Derby County’s performance following the 4-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
Four goals in the first half sealed the victory for Dean Smith’s men and in his post-match interview, Lampard spoke openly about his side’s afternoon and called for unity.
“The result speaks for itself,” Lampard told RamsTV.
“The performance in the first-half was as bad as it has been all season against a very good team and it is a reality check in the harshest possible way of where we are at, at the moment.
“It is something that comes in the season, I have seen it coming because if we don’t keep high, high standards, day in and day out these things can come, so it is only on us to work through this. It was a very tough afternoon.
“We gifted an early goal, again. We are doing that at the moment and that makes games when you come to places like this very tough. We lacked the basics, sprinting, the fight and having personality on the ball.
“They are all things we hammer home daily. When you are in a tough patch as a player or as a team, it is harder to do those basics, but you have to get back to them. We didn’t do them and we got beaten by a better team.
“We have to take it on the chin, myself included. It’s not nice to go through it but you can’t cry too much about it because we are the ones who are responsible, and we are the ones who have to turn the corner.
“We have a game coming on Tuesday against Wigan Athletic at Pride Park and we have four home games on the trot so it is completely in our hands to do it.”
The Rams are currently going through a tough run after suffering three league losses in a row, however, Lampard has stressed that it’s important everyone sticks together.
“Unity is massive now, as a club,” Lampard said.
“As players now, however much fans are hurting today and we have to say we didn’t perform in front of the fans who travel and support us all over the country, we need them and they need us.
“It needs to be a club this where we move forward. It starts on the pitch and with ourselves in terms of injection of energy, spirit, passion and fight. That’s what the fans want to see and we will need them with us through this little patch.
“I believe we are all pulling together and we need to go beyond the negativity. We have to work and not get too down because that can affect performance as well.”