Derby County manager Gary Rowett has admitted that his side made 'mistakes' in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.
The Rams produced an insipid showing throughout the afternoon and were brushed aside by Nigel Clough's men thanks to goals from Liam Boyce, Luke Murphy and Lucas Akins. Rowett implied that the Brewers did not have to work too hard in order to roll over their local rivals.
'We gave them the opportunity'
Talking after the game, Rowett said: "You know it’s going to be a game where you’re going to have to scrap and fight for second balls and then try and play.
"They did that really well, and I’ve seen them do that against Middlesbrough, Bristol City here, so forget the fact they’ve haven’t won many games here. They’ve been more than capable of taking points off bigger sides but today we gifted those moments in my opinion.
"If they play through us, great - but don’t give they goals and we gave them the opportunity to do that with three mistakes basically."
'I don't care how much quality we have at times'
As a result of their loss at the hands of Burton, the Rams dropped out of the playoffs for the first time since November. Rowett admitted that Derby have to question their desire of they are to finish in the top-six at the conclusion of the Championship season.
He said: "What I don’t want to do after a game like that is say we are still in a great position because ill sound like a broken record.
"For me the question has to be are we going to give every drop of sweat and every ounce of effort in order to try to win games at this point in the season? If we're not going to do that then we won’t win the games, and that’s the question I said to the players.
"I don’t care how much quality we have at times, for me it’s the effort and desire that the fans need to see, and the quality usually comes with that if you’re a good team, and that’s too many times now that we’ve just looked a little bit like the game doesn’t matter."