Chris Martin admitted Derby County’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Pride Park Stadium proved to be a tale of two halves.
Derby struggled in the opening 45 minutes of the Sky Bet Championship contest and trailed to Steven Fletcher’s clinical left-foot finish from the edge of the box after being caught in possession.
Phillip Cocu’s side responded in the second half, however, and took the game to the Owls as they chased an equaliser.
Martin eventually hauled Derby back onto level terms from the penalty spot late on after substitute Jack Marriott was fouled in the box.
The striker’s composed finish, his fourth of the season, set up a grandstand finish as the Rams went all out for the victory – but they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Speaking to RamsTV, Martin commented: “It was a game of two halves.
“We weren’t good enough in the first half. I don’t think we controlled the ball enough, didn’t have enough possession and gave it away too cheaply. We gave away too many set-pieces as well which they are very strong at and made an uncharacteristic error for the goal.
“I thought that we reacted very well in the second half. We were bang up for the fight and we were disappointed we didn’t get the three points in the end.”
Martin, typically, was confident when given the opportunity to score from the spot.
After two seasons out of favour and out on loan under previous managers, he is enjoyed being back in the fold under Cocu.
He said: “I didn’t feel any nerves for the penalty. In my mind, there was only one result for the penalty and I was happy to see it hit the back of the net.
“I was slightly disappointed because it felt like we had enough time to nick a winner but it’s disappointing that we didn’t.”
The draw with the Owls saw Derby extend their unbeaten run at home to nine matches.
They have tasted defeat on home turf just once this season, back in August against Bristol City.
Martin is keen to build on the Rams’ form at Pride Park when they face Millwall on Saturday, before heading to Reading and Wigan Athletic over Christmas as they seek to end their away day troubles.
He said: “We have picked up some good results at home, unlike away from home which has been strange.
“It’s difficult to put our finger on why that is but we are looking forward to Saturday because it’s another home game.
“I didn’t realise it’s nine unbeaten now at home and I think we have made this place a real fortress. You see in the second half, once the fans saw that sort of aggression, tempo and heart that we showed, and the running, attitude and intensity, they were right behind us.
“Hopefully we can use that as a springboard now through until the end of the season.”