Curtis Davies felt Derby County lacked a cutting edge in the final third as they tasted a 2-0 loss at Birmingham City on Friday night.
Goals from Scott Hogan and Jeremie Bela in either half condemned Wayne Rooney’s side to defeat in the West Midlands.
The defeat was only the Rams’ second in the league in the current campaign and Davies felt that while Derby had plenty of the ball, they didn’t make the Blues pay when it really mattered.
Davies, a former Birmingham player, felt the Rams as a team weren’t able to make their final pass count as they sought to claim a second away win of the season.
“We tried to play a certain way which we’ve introduced this year, which means dominating the ball,” Davies told RamsTV. “It’s a defeat and one we are not happy with.
“We knew that if we played in the right way then we could break the lines of Birmingham.
"We were getting the ball between the lines but it was that next step of creating something which caused their defenders and goalkeeper problems.
“Too often, we turned down those last passes and went sideways instead or went safe at times.
“Unfortunately an error gave them their first goal and for a team who sit off you and surrender that possession, it was going to be a difficult second half.
“The gaffer brought off Graeme Shinnie, not for his performance but tactically he wanted to go two up front and unsettle their back three, but we kept the ball but didn’t have that cutting edge.
“That final pass wasn’t there and it didn’t fall for us. Eventually the legs get tired, the game gets stretched and they found the energy to burst down the left and put the ball in the bottom corner and put the game to bed.”
Davies added: “What I will say is that we are doing the right things, playing the right way and being brave, like the manager has told us, but it’s that next level of bravery in terms of that killer pass, go for the pass through the lines. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake, and we lacked that tonight.”
Derby return to Sky Bet Championship action on Tuesday evening when they travel to West Bromwich Albion (8pm kick-off).