Phillip Cocu felt his Derby County side did more than enough to claim all three points as they played out a thrilling 1-1 draw against Fulham at Pride Park Stadium on Friday night.
Derby had to settle for a share of the spoils in a pulsating Sky Bet Championship encounter under the floodlights.
Skipper Wayne Rooney put the Rams ahead early in the second half as he marked his 500th appearance in English league football by scoring a Panenka penalty after Fulham defender Tim Ream handled in the box.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, however, equalised for the visitors midway through the second half with a smart finish from 12 yards.
Fulham goalkeeper Marek Rodak kept the visitors in the game with a succession of fine saves throughout, keeping out Matt Clarke and Tom Lawrence in the first half and Max Bird and Curtis Davies late on.
In the end, Derby were forced to settle for just a point but Cocu was keen to focus on the positives when reviewing the game.
Speaking to RamsTV after the final whistle, Cocu said: “Their goalkeeper was the Man of the Match, which says it all.
“I think we really played a good game tonight. After we scored the penalty, they pushed and pushed us back and had ten minutes or so where they dominated and we couldn’t get out.
“As it played out, after they scored the equaliser we came back into the game. If we had scored the second one, you know the three points are very close.
“It was a fantastic game to watch for our fans, for everybody. We saw two teams who play open, good football forwards to win and be creative.
“It is just a pity we couldn’t win the game. In the end we deserved it and if you see the whole game with the opportunities we created. They showed some skills as well, they have quality players in their squad.”
He added: “Now we move on to the next game, at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night, and we will try to win an away game and try to prove that the victory at Swansea was not only one lucky win. We need a good result to keep going.”
Rooney’s goal was his fourth since officially joining the Rams from Major League Soccer side DC United in January.
As well as his calmness from the penalty spot, Cocu was also impressed with the 34-year-old’s overall display in a more advanced attacking role with Duane Holmes sidelined for several weeks due to injury.
“It was a great finish,” he said when asked about Rooney's spot-kick.
“He showed some exceptional moments of vision in the game as well. We are lucky to have him on board. He played in a more forward position, as a second striker, and again he played excellent.
“We were close with our corners and set pieces, so that is positive. Not conceding from set-pieces but pushing to score from set-pieces is a change we work hard on every day.”
Derby face back-to-back away fixtures next week to round off February, heading to Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday and Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.