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Midfielder Max Bird did not want to dwell too much on Derby Conunty 2-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Wednesday.

The Rams were on the back foot early on as Grady Diangana beat the offside trap to put the Baggies ahead in the first half.

Derby stayed in the game but a lapse in concentration from a corner allowed Dara O’Shea to double West Brom’s lead and take the game away from the Rams.

And Bird, who was handed the captain’s armband towards the end of the game when skipper Wayne Rooney was replaced, admitted the better team on the day won.

The result leaves the Rams three points adrift of the play-off spots with four games left to play in the Sky Bet Championship season.

“We knew how good a side West Brom were,” he told RamsTV. “They have got certain individual players in the team who can change a game but, in the end, the second goal was a mistake on our part with a free man in the box.

“I thought at times we played some good stuff. We conceded quite early which put us in a bit of a poor position but we knew West Brom were going to be a threat today.

“With the Forest game as well, we put ourselves on the back foot too easily but we reacted well. We had some good possession and we played some good stuff in the first half.

“The second goal killed us because we were still in the game. We were making changes, bringing fresh legs on and thought it was there for the taking at some points in the game.

“It’s a blow for us, but we need to get our heads back together, keep our heads up and look forward to Saturday against Brentford.”

Bird was one of eight Derby County Academy players on the field in the final moments of the game.

Louie Sibley and Jayden Bogle started the game alongside Bird, whilst Morgan Whittaker, Lee Buchanan, Jason Knight, Jahmal Hector-Ingram and Jordan Brown came off the bench, the latter two making their debuts.

And whilst it was disappointing to lose the game at the Hawthorns, Bird believes it shows the hard work of everyone at the football club to make it possible.

“It’s a massive boost for the Academy and credit to them and all the work that has gone into the academy,” he said.

“You’ve seen with the Under-23s and Under-18s, with the Under-18s winning the league last season and the Under-23s for the last couple of seasons playing really good stuff and in the top half of their league.

“It’s credit to the Academy for what they have done and credit to the manager for putting them on today, they did alright out there. It was a difficult game to come into but I’m sure there will be plenty more opportunities for them.”

Pos Pld GD Pts
7 Nottingham Forest 46 8 70
8 Millwall 46 6 68
9 Preston North End 46 5 66
10 Derby County 46 -2 64
11 Blackburn Rovers 46 3 63
12 Bristol City 46 -5 63
13 Queens Park Rangers 46 -9 58
14 Reading 46 1 56
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