Striker Martyn Waghorn felt Derby County put up a good fight against Manchester United in their Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round tie, but the Premier League sides quality shone through as they progressed through to the Quarter Final stage with a 3-0 victory.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying for the Rams who created several chances during the game, but could not find a way past Sergio Romero in the Manchester United goal.
Louie Sibley went close in the first half before the goalkeeper denied Wayne Rooney from a free kick midway through the half.
Goals from Luke Shaw and Odion Ighalo put United in control but after the break, Waghorn went close with a deft header which licked the paint of the goalpost but went wide.
Ighalo grabbed his second of the game as the Red Devils ran out convincing winners and striker Waghorn had no complaints over the result but was pleased with the way the Rams battled.
“I think they showed their quality,” he told RamsTV. “There was a bit of fortune in the first goal but the way they keep the ball, they are going to wear you down.
“They create spaces and they are a top-class side. I don’t think we showed them too much respect. We went after them and had a few opportunities but that is the difference in the level and the quality.
“They are a good side and we hoped for an off day from them but to be fair to them, they were right on it in their attitude and they did the basics well.
“In these games, you are going to need to take those chances. We played some good stuff. We got opportunities in the second half and had chances to exploit but they defended in numbers, got back well, and it is hard to break them down.
“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say you have played a very good side and they have played better football than yourself.”
With the FA Cup exit, the Rams now have 10 games remaining to try and put a run together to get into the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.
They face Blackburn Rovers on Saturday looking for back-to-back wins in the league and Waghorn believes consistency is the key now between now and the end of the season.
“We need to rest up and get ready because it’s another big game,” he said. “It’s another opportunity to get three points against a team above us and we need to put a little run together between now and the end of the season.
“We are eight points off sixth spot. It’s going to be tough but if we can just get a bit of consistency then you never know what could happen.
“Although we have not been as consistent as we have been but teams are slipping up and dropping points and we have the chance to take points off teams above us.
“It will be important if we want to climb the table and we know it’s going to be hard and we need a good little run but it’s been done before.
“The squad that we have and the players we have, we are capable of doing it so we go into the game with a positive mindset and full of belief. If we get three points and teams drop points on Saturday then we have a good chance.”