Phillip Cocu was disappointed with the way Derby County rounded off their 2019/20 home campaign at Pride Park Stadium with a 3-1 loss to Leeds United on Sunday afternoon.
Leeds were able to celebrate securing automatic promotion and the Championship title with all three points at Pride Park Stadium.
Derby took the lead after the break when Chris Martin's shot from 10 yards deflected into the net.
However, just two minutes later Pablo Hernandez guided home an equaliser for the visitors.
Jamie Shackleton put Leeds ahead with 15 minutes remaining before Rams defender Matt Clarke turned the ball into his own net from Ezgjan Alioski's cross late on.
The defeat was the Rams’ fourth in a row, off the back of a six game unbeaten run which saw them win five and draw one, and Cocu was frustrated with the way his side went from a winning position to conceding three goals.
“It was a poor performance and I am definitely not pleased with the first half that we played,” Cocu told RamsTV after the game.
“The second half saw us come out much better. The difference between the two teams is that Leeds always were on the front foot and anticipate, if they do something it is 100 per cent while, and we were more reactive.
“I think when you score a good goal it should lift you as a team and give you 10 or 15 per cent more to stay in that position for some time.
“But I think two minutes after we scored, we conceded. That is the difference between the champions in our league and ourselves.”
He added: “That is the reason why we are mid-table and for me now, it is obvious and clear. We did not get a win against the top teams this season and definitely it is something we will change if we want to achieve something next season.”
Cocu felt, in many ways, the defeat was a lesson for his side on the level they need to be at from a technical and physical aspect.
With just one game remaining in the league campaign before attentions can fully turn to the 2020/21 season, Cocu believes there is work to be done.
“Leeds are physically the best team in the league and we definitely need to improve on that,” he said.
“We have a different type of players so you have to push yourself to the maximum, but definitely we can be much better.
“It is also quality; if you see some of the substitutes they made, it shows they are a real quality team. We have a lot of youngsters who have to learn a lot. The details are really important, and it is important we take these lessons and learn really fast.
“We know we have to do something to improve next season as a team but also as a club to make sure we get some fresh new players in so we can really give a serious go at the play-offs.”
He added: “We know we have to continue to build and to make the right decisions. Of course, it depends on the possibilities we have as a club and we look forward to next season.”