Derby manager Wayne Rooney believes his team are moving in the right direction despite problems off the field after they held Swansea to a goalless draw.
Rooney saw his players withstand long periods of pressure and almost snatch victory in the second half.
Derby were docked 12 points after going into administration but are now only seven points from safety.
Rooney said: “It was a difficult game for us, Swansea played some good stuff and had a lot of possession but didn’t really create that many clear-cut chances. But it can be a frustrating game when the opposition has that much of the ball.
“Second half we did well, we had to be more aggressive and put more pressure on them and on another day maybe could have nicked a win.
“The players are showing attitude, spirit and enthusiasm and it’s good this game happened today because on another day we could get frustrated and lose our discipline.
“With everything that’s gone on, for the lads to keep their concentration, stay in the game and stick to what we were trying to do, overall I have to be pleased with a point and I think last season we might have caved in.”
Swansea dominated possession for most of the game at Pride Park but did not make enough of it and forced Ryan Allsop into only one real save.
That came in the eighth minute, when Joel Piroe crossed low from the left but Korey Smith was denied by Allsop from 10 yards.
Piroe should have done better when he drove into the box but failed to get a shot away, and Derby almost made them pay when Jason Knight surged forward in the 35th minute, but his effort flashed across the six-yard box.
Knight had Derby’s first attempt on goal in the 52nd minute and Tom Lawrence had a great chance a minute later when he broke through only for Ben Hamer to pull off a triple save to deny the Wales international.
Swansea continued to dominate but wasted another chance in the 75th minute when Jake Bidwell crossed from the left but Smith’s header at the back post was easily held by Allsop.
Swansea head coach Russell Martin admitted he was frustrated at failing to turn dominance into goals.
“I’m really frustrated, frustrated for the guys,” he said. “We deserved to win, we were so dominant, had 10 shots inside their box and that needs to come to more.
“We are very close to being a very, very good team. Derby had a great result during the week and we didn’t allow them to play at all. We had great energy, intensity, and real control, but we need to make more of the dominance.
“We created a lot, we had good chances and someone has to give themselves up to really put the ball in the net. I’m so happy with so much, but I’m frustrated for the players and I think they feel the same way.
“As I said, we are really close to being very, very good side and so much of it today was so good, but we have to win the game when we’re that dominant.”
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