Derby boss Wayne Rooney is confident his side have enough in their armoury to avoid being dragged back into a Championship relegation fight after a 1-0 defeat to Coventry.
Max Biamou’s 11th-minute goal proved the difference between the two sides after a tight encounter in which Derby struggled to fashion clear openings.
The Rams have now won just one in five and Rooney knows his side, six points above the relegation zone, must improve.
He said: “We gave away a sloppy goal and, after that, didn’t look like getting back in the game.
“We didn’t create enough chances, we didn’t pass the ball forward enough, we didn’t penetrate them enough or get quality balls in the box.
“Our game management has to be better and, overall, the result was a fair one.
“We have to pick ourselves up. Moving forward, we have to be at our best in terms of energy, game management and bravery. If we are not, we will lose games.
“I’m not silly and I know this run of form can’t continue. We have to get back to picking points up and winning games.
“I said after taking over, we will not be in the bottom three at the end of this season but we do have to perform better.
“It’s a challenge. We have to stand up and be accountable but knowing the players, I am sure we will get through a mini-slump and get back to winning games.”
Sky Blues boss Mark Robins, meanwhile, reflected on a massive win as his side moved level on points with Derby.
“We knew there was pressure around the game but you are going to get that and you have to deal with it,” said Robins.
“I thought we did that brilliantly. We got the clean sheet, first and foremost, which is outstanding.
“And then I thought the pressure we put on them to force a mistake for the goal was excellent.
“Max Biamou still had a lot to do to get the other side of their defenders but he did it brilliantly and finished really well. It was a settler for us in that first half.
“Derby County is a big, big club and we are here on the same amount of points as them in the same division.
“That, in itself, means things are starting to look brighter. If we keep upping the performance levels, I feel the spirit, effort and commitment is there.
“Some of the quality at times is lacking but that’s the same with other teams, more experienced and more expensively assembled than ours.
“Honestly, credit to the lads because that’s fantastic and if we continue to do that we will pick up results.”
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