Senior Professional Development Phase Coach Pat Lyons was left disappointed but could not fault the effort of his players following Derby County Under-23s’ 3-2 defeat to Chelsea in Premier League 2 – Division 1 on Saturday afternoon.
After going a goal behind, the Rams took the lead midway through the second half via goals from Jack Stretton and new-signing Louie Watson.
It was nothing more than Derby deserved after an impressive performance, however, a late Brian Fiabema brace ensured all three points went to the home side.
It proved to be cruel on the Rams who had dominated the game for large parts but came away from Cobham without any points.
Speaking to RamsTV, Lyons said: “All of us are utterly disappointed that we didn’t get a win today, and that says a lot coming to a big club like Chelsea.
“We started the game terrific and could have been 2-0 up in the first 15/20 minutes. That was the shame at half time, coming in at 0-0, we could have taken the game away from them.
“But then to go and give two soft goals away, was the disappointment really.”
Derby started the game with a lot of pace and energy, mainly from the forward players. They passed the ball around confidently and caused Chelsea a lot of problems in a goalless first half.
Touching on Derby’s fast start to the game, Lyons revealed that it was something that they had been working on over the recent international break.
“We changed a couple of things, talked about our mentality and how we start games - and it was terrific,” he said.
“Rather than going on the back foot and conceding quite early, we were on the front foot and should have gone ahead, so that is a real positive going forward and we need to maintain that going into the next fixtures.”
It was a debut goal for Watson, who signed for the Rams earlier in the week from West Ham United, and Lyons was full of praise for the new addition.
“He came on and impacted the game really well,” he admitted. “He is a threat and that is why we have signed him; he has got that pass in him and he has got that goal in him as well.”
The Rams will look to bounce back from the defeat when they take on Southampton in Premier League 2 - Division 1 on Friday afternoon at Moor Farm.
Words: Luke Bissett