Phillip Cocu admitted Derby County were made to pay for not making their dominance count as they fell to a 2-0 loss at Hull City.
Two goals second half goals from Jarrod Bowen condemned Derby to defeat in the Sky Bet Championship at the KCOM Stadium.
Bowen opened the scoring with a close-range header on 74 minutes, before he rounded off the scoring with a shot which found the net via a deflection off of Curtis Davies ten minutes from time.
Cocu’s side enjoyed the majority of the possession against the Tigers, but they weren’t able to get their noses in front.
Tom Lawrence had a goal disallowed early in the second half, while in the Welsh international also forced a good save from George Long in the home goal and Chris Martin also went close.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, the Derby boss said: “It is a hard feeling because I think we played a good game against a tough side.
“We played good football and combined that with a good attitude, a good spirit and hard work.
“I think we tried to play and it was not easy on a difficult pitch. We made mistakes in passing, but the whole team worked very hard to get the ball back and we still kept going forward.
“Our football was much better (than the previous two games against Charlton and Wigan), but we couldn’t get the goal. Once we went behind, we couldn’t get ourselves back in.”
He added: “We didn’t play well on Wednesday against Wigan, but we fought well and got the victory. I am disappointed for the lads and the team that we didn’t get the win we deserved.
“We need to step up in the game against Middlesbrough next Saturday at Pride Park. If we can play like today with our fans backing us up like today, then we can get another win.”
Cocu admitted that Lawrence’s disallowed goal was a key turning point in the game.
He felt had the Rams got their noses in front, it would have provided further confidence across the side to kick on.
Cocu said: “It was a decisive moment in this game. I think maybe if you play a home game, that would be 1-0 to us. These are crucial moments in the game.
“I was waiting for us to go 1-0 up and they scored out of the blue to go in front and then we couldn’t get back in the game again.
“I was told it was a foul, or at least the fourth official said it was given as a foul. I think Tom jumped and tried to attack the ball. These details are making the difference because if we go ahead, I’m sure we will even play better because we would have the confidence.”
Cocu also handed a first league appearance to youngster Morgan Whittaker in the second half.
The 18-year-old forward, who appeared in the Carabao Cup earlier in the campaign, came off the bench and looked lively in his brief time on the pitch.
Cocu spoke earlier in the week about the progression that the Rams’ youngsters are making and he admitted Whittaker’s league bow was a reward for his development over the course of the campaign.
He said: “I have to say Morgan, not only with the Under-19s but also the Under-23s, he has played excellent and scored a lot of goals.
“In training he does very well so we decided to put him in the team and give him and opportunity, especially because I thought we played well and we could get him in the position to score a goal or give an assist.
“It is a reward for him, not for an instance of playing a good game, but playing over a long period of time. He deserved it and Max Bird was close to getting in.”
Derby return to Championship action with a home fixture against Jonathan Woodgate’s Middlesbrough on Saturday 2nd November (3pm kick-off).