Derby County Under-23s coach Pat Lyons was disappointed following the Rams’ 1-0 Premier League Cup defeat to Birmingham City on Friday afternoon.

The Young Rams conceded midway through the first-half and were unable to find a route back into the game due to a strong defensive display from Birmingham.

Following the full-time whistle, Lyons said: “We just didn’t get going to our usual high levels.

“In the last ten minutes of the first-half we had numerous opportunities that the keeper saved or good chances that got blocked.

“We thought at least one or two of them would go in. They were our moments to get back into it after giving away a sloppy goal.

“Then, in the last 20 minutes we faded away which was really disappointing,” he added.

Despite the loss, the Rams are still through to the knockout phase of the competition having sealed progression with a 2-1 victory over Leeds United earlier this month.

On how this affected the Under-23s’ performance, Lyons said: “Sometimes it’s difficult when you’re already through and you’ve still got two games to go.

“For us it’s just about doing a professional job as individuals and as a team to make sure that we stick to our standards - I don’t think we did that today.”

Derby have two opportunities to get back to winning ways after successive defeats with upcoming games against Wolves and Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday and Friday respectively.

In these matches, the Under-23s’ coach believes: “It’s about trying to get back to a good level of performance.

“We want to get back to the standards of Leeds away and the games before that - Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea.

“We know the lads have had a lot of games lately which will sometimes take its toll.

“Sometimes you go through a tough spell, this is our first of the season but now we’ve got two more games next week to put it right,” concluded Lyons.

Words: Jack Hasler