Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray thought his team should have won more comfortably after “controlling” large parts of the 1-0 win over Derby.
Adam Armstrong’s 57th minute piledriver was the difference between the sides but that did not tell the story of their dominance.
Although they did not register any further goals, Blackburn were well worth the three points and possessed the confidence and intensity that Derby lacked.
Only the top two in the Sky Bet Championship have better form over the last six games than Blackburn, and after their fourth successive win, Mowbray praised his side’s intensity in controlling “vast swathes” of the encounter.
He said: “It felt as if we should have made it more comfortable. I’ve just been speaking to Adam, if he’d have taken his chance first half, with the rocket he scored in the second half, it would have put a better balance on the game for us.
“At 1-0 it’s always dangerous but I think our collective spirit has got us through.
“Every team that does alright has to win 1-0 and see those games out. Teams will always have a go in the last five minutes and bombard your box. I think we deserved the victory.
“The team controlled vast swathes of that game really. Good composure, created chances – not enough chances for the possession we had but still we’ll take the points.
“It was important for us to win because I think when you’ve won three in a week, it’s easy to think you’re a decent team and drop off the intensity, and we worked hard to make sure the intensity was there and they produced a good performance on the back of that.”
Derby’s away form is a serious concern. They have lost five successive games on the road for the first time in 11 years and it is the sixth time they have failed to trouble the scoreboard in the last eight games.
Rams’ boss Phillip Cocu described his team’s performance as “sloppy,” especially in the first half.
He said: “It’s nothing new. We struggle creating, taking shots on target. If we get shots, especially in away games, they’re not on target.
“We had a slightly different approach to the game. We wanted to stay in the game for as long as possible, so it was more compact, especially against a team that really likes playing transitions.
“When they win the ball, they score a lot of goals through speedy wingers and (Bradley) Dack is a very clever player.
“That part of the game, the lads did good. But when we had the ball, in the first half, it was unnecessarily sloppy. It wasn’t high pressure or very intense from Blackburn.
“We just made a lot of bad decisions – more individual players. We were only, in some rare occasions, capable of getting in positions in offence, where we could do what we wanted to do.
“We didn’t create a lot. Second half, we tried to push more forward and I think we did well.
“We pushed them back, every second ball was for us. I was waiting for the equaliser.
“We were close to getting the goal but we also had a lack of luck.”