Curtis Davies has stressed the importance of Derby County quickly bouncing back from their 2-1 local derby defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Second half goals from Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson gave Forest all three points at the City Ground on Saturday afternoon.
Skipper Tom Lawrence pulled a goal back late on for Wayne Rooney’s side, who had substitute Ravel Morrison sent off in injury time.
The defeat against the Reds was Derby’s first Championship loss since early December, ending a run of four wins and a draw from five outings.
The result leaves Derby as they were in the table, in 23rd spot and eight points adrift of safety, as they look to avoid the drop following a 21-point deduction this term for off field issues.
Experienced defender Davies was understandably disappointed to taste defeat against the Rams’ local rivals but he knows it is important to not let it knock the side off their end goal target.
Speaking to RamsTV, Davies said: “I’m gutted because it’s a derby, first and foremost, but also because we’ve been in good form. This was the next game for us to keep going and keep catching the teams above us.
“I thought we dominated spells in the first half and had a really good chance through Tom Lawrence to take the lead. There weren’t many chances really in the first half and then early in the second half they scored from a set piece and that decided how the game went.
“We opened ourselves up and became a bit more adventurous, whereas Forest were playing on the front foot and playing further up the pitch which saw them get the second goal on the break.
“We got a goal back late on, but their game management was better than ours in added time.”
Derby’s next Sky Bet Championship fixture will see them host Birmingham City at Pride Park Stadium on Sunday 30th January (1:30pm kick-off).
The club remain in administration, a position they’ve been in since September, and their future has been discussed at length in public this week on a national scale.
Davies knows that while the situation off the field remains vittaly important, all the squad can do is focus on what they can do on the pitch.
“We know that we have got bigger fish to fry in terms of the season and we need to make sure that we are ready to bounce back again,” he said.
“I’m not brushing over the fact we’ve lost a local derby, because we are all disappointed. The fans will be disappointed but the ones that were here stayed clapped us, which shows we are all together.
“We’ve got a big week coming up now, both on and off the pitch, so we are going to look forward to getting back on the training pitch and getting ready for Birmingham, because that’s all we can do.
“We have to get points on the board and do the best we can do to close that gap.”