Gary Rowett says there is an ‘awful lot more to come’ from his Derby County side this season.
The 43-year-old was speaking in the post-match press conference after his side’s disappointing 4-2 defeat to Reading at Pride Park.
Despite the defeat, Derby head into the international break in the play-off places in sixth with 25 points after 15 games.
The league position is aided massively by hitting a purple patch of four consecutive wins and an unbeaten run that stretched seven matches prior to the Reading fixture.
Rowett said: “I would say we are okay again, but I said that when we were in 14th. I didn’t get too animated about it, I still think there is an awful lot to come and we are sat in a reasonable position – still with a game in hand don’t forget.
“I think it is just maintaining that balance. If you would have said to me at the start of the season after these games you’re going to be in the play-off places and you will have only lost four games I would be pleased.
But the ex-Birmingham City manager knows his side must tighten up at the back.
“I’m disappointed about some of the goals we have conceded and that they have come in a limited amount of games,” he said.
“I think that is the desperation for the players to get back into the game and sometimes we are not as professional as we need to be.”
Derby next play on Tuesday 18th November against Fulham at Craven Cottage. Rowett says he will acknowledge the defeat in the last game but not overanalyse the situation when looking ahead to the next match, stating:
“We certainly know we will need a breather, we will need to come back and put it to the ‘room 101’ very quickly,” he added.
“The Championship is a brutal league and if you don’t do the right things every week any team can beat you. That is why you can’t get too down about it, I’m not going to start berating the players saying that they didn’t try or that there was no effort.
“Just as I will try and stay level-headed after a seven-game unbeaten run I will stay level-headed about a poor performance.
This term has offered plenty of positivity, served during such memorable matches as the 2-0 win in the East Midlands derby against Nottingham Forest, or the 5-0 drubbing of Hull City – in addition to resilient 2-1 away victories against Norwich City and Leeds United.
But defeats, and the manner of the defeats, at the hands of Sheffield United, Bristol City and now against Reading last time out still illustrate the potential weaknesses in the side.