Phillip Cocu admitted he felt his Derby County side were somewhat unfortunate to leave local rivals Nottingham Forest with nothing to show for their efforts.
Derby fell to a 1-0 defeat at the City Ground in their final Sky Bet Championship fixture before the third international break of the season as Lewis Grabban scored for the hosts in the second half.
Grabban latched onto a loose pass from defender Jayden Bogle just before the hour mark and kept his cool to sweep the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Kelle Roos.
Derby had opportunities to get themselves ahead, particularly in the first half when they enjoyed the better of proceedings, but were unable to make their spells of possession count.
They also knocked on the door as they chased an equaliser, with Jack Marriott going the closest, but they weren’t able to get themselves back onto level terms.
Overall, Cocu felt Derby didn’t deserve to make the short journey home off the back of a defeat.
Speaking to RamsTV after the final whistle, Cocu said: “The boys did well in their performance and I feel a defeat is harsh.
“We started well, especially the first half we played good football and they didn’t have an answer.
“Defensively we were strong, it is just a pity we lost Matt Clarke earl on due to injury. We had to get Krystian Bielik from his midfield position, but I think we did well.
“We played good football, there was a great chance on goal for Tom Lawrence but their goalkeeper made the save.
“I cannot be satisfied with the first ten minutes of the second-half. We didn’t play, we went back and we couldn’t get out of our 18 yard box.
“That was not a good period, but we did not concede a goal so we were still in the game. An individual mistake by Jayden, in the end, cost us the game.
“We tried everything to get the equaliser and we were close. We just didn’t have the luck to score.”
He added: “If we could have got a goal, a draw would be great for us in the end.
“The hard work didn’t pay off, but still we played good and we pushed them back over a big period of time in their own stadium. That is something that is positive. The negative part is that we didn’t get the result.”
Cocu admitted he was disappointed for Bogle that an individual mistake cost Derby the game.
He has, however, backed the England Under-20 defender to learn from the difficult moment.
He said: “It is an individual mistake and that happens in football. He feels very bad about it to let the team down. It is also part of growing up as a player.
“He is a young lad and he struggled finishing the game, but he has to learn from it.”
Derby return to Sky Bet Championship action following the international break with a home fixture against high-flying Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday 23rd November (3pm kick-off).