Derby Not Disgraced In Defeat
Derby might have been beaten 4-1 by Man United at Pride Park on Sunday as the FA Cup ended for another season, but Nigel Clough felt we were not disgraced. He also drew on the positives gained from it.
"In some ways I wish it was sooner (the match with Blackpool on Wednesday).
"We said we would take the United game in isolation. Whatever the score, we would take the positives from it.
"I think had we put a poor performance in and been on the end of four, five or six goals then it could have damaged confidence.
"But the mood is good. There is no criticism from us for the performance. It will be upbeat as usual and looking forward to Wednesday.
"We will settle for a similar performance on Wednesday and Saturday as we put in against United. Not playing against the world club champions, that will probably be good enough to get us a result in those two games."
Clough was obviously disappointed that we did go out of the FA Cup but was happy with the performance, as he was all three of the meetings with the current Premier League Champions over the past five week.
"I think we put up good performances in all three games. They have stuck four past us twice - but they do that in Champions League games, regularly.
"We're disappointed we have lost and are out of the Cup. But there is a manner in which you lose and I thought in the last two games against them, if we are to lose that is the way we want it.
"Despite losing 4-1, there's no disgrace given the quality of team we faced.
"We are very pleased in many ways, certainly with the second-half performance. We got ourselves a goal which was great for the supporters because United haven't conceded too many of late.
"Similar to the game at Old Trafford, it would have been easy to fold when 3-0 down and be on the end of five or six, but we didn't.
"We kept playing and doing the right things. So, yes, it was pleasing in a lot of ways.
"Our goal gave everybody a bit of hope for 10 or 15 minutes because if we had got it back to 3-2, you never know. We didn't particularly deserve to but we just had that little spell after getting the goal where we played pretty well.
"That character is encouraging. The likes of Robbie Savage and Gary Teale keep everybody going and I thought Miles Addison was very good playing against Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs."
Stephen Pearson made his return from injury as well, coming on as a late replacement for Robbie Savage and this was also a plus for Clough, who also feels that Man United can go on to win everything this season.
"To get Stephen back on the pitch is another big bonus to take from the game.
"Chris Porter came on for his home debut and did well.
"If anybody can do it, they can. I thought that was their best performance out of the three games in which we have played them."
Clough was talking to the Evening Telegraph.
We certainly have nothing to be ashamed of in the latest, and all, the meetings with the best club in European football at the moment.
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