Phillip Cocu understandably cut a frustrated figure after seeing his Derby County side fall to a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers in a game of few clear-cut chances.
Adam Armstrong’s strike from the edge of the box just before the hour mark settled a tight Sky Bet Championship encounter at Ewood Park.
Derby goalkeeper Ben Hamer had earlier kept Armstrong out with a smart save before half-time while Krystian Bielik’s curling effort from distance flashed narrowly wide following the break.
Armstrong then fired home the only goal of the game and while Cocu’s side pushed for an equaliser late on, with substitute Jack Marriott going close, they were unable to prevent themselves suffering a fifth successive away defeat.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, Cocu commented: “It was really close as a game and I think we were better than the last few away games. We stayed in the match and were more compact but it is different than when we play the home games and it is still not the result we hoped for.
“Our defensive organisation was good in this game, better than it has been in recent away matches. The real big opportunity they had before late on was when we lost the ball in one occasion, easy ball possession close to our goal, but Ben Hamer made a good save.
“I have to accept that it was a great strike which gave them the lead but it’s obviously a disappointing goal to concede. In the last part of the game I can only say that the guys put everything in the game to get the equaliser.”
He added: “We were really close on two occasions. You also need a little bit of luck. We wanted to reward ourselves, the team and the fans by scoring a late goal but we didn’t have the luck we needed.
“An example of that was the goal we had ruled out from Martyn Waghorn in the first half. That is the way we try to come in the pockets, between their defence, but it was an offside goal.”
Cocu admitted his players were, understandably, deflated as their form on the road continues to be disappointing.
However, the Derby boss was keen to stress his side must shake off the disappointment as they prepare for back-to-back home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall over the next week.
The Rams’ home form has been strong all season, losing just once back in August, and they are unbeaten in eight at Pride Park Stadium ahead of Wednesday’s home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday.
He said: “The players are down after the defeat, especially as we had the feeling that we were so close to getting something away from home.
“It is normal that they have a big disappointment, but we cannot think too long about it because we play on Wednesday and next Saturday in home games and we have to make sure that we get good results in them to focus on the two away matches coming up after that around Christmas.
“We first focus on the home games to get back in a good mood and if we keep working hard, we will get a result.”
On the upcoming games against Sheffield Wednesday and Millwall at Pride Park, he added: “They are tough games and tough opponents to play, but we have shown in Pride Park that we can do it.
“This will give the players confidence, if we can get the results we want, but this is of course a disappointment at the moment. We have to leave it behind us and look forward to the game on Wednesday night.”