Derby boss Wayne Rooney feels his side were left to rue missed chances as they fell to a 3-1 Championship defeat to Blackburn, despite taking the lead at Ewood Park.
Derby took the lead midway through the first half when Nathan Byrne set up Ravel Morrison to finish from close range.
Greeted with boos at half-time, Rovers found new impetus and two goals in six second-half minutes from Scott Wharton and Tyrhys Dolan turned the game around.
Sam Gallagher’s header sealed the points in stoppage time and defeat pushes Derby – who are now six points from safety – further into relegation trouble.
Rooney felt his side did not take advantage of the chances that came their way in the first period, and said: “It’s a difficult loss for us to take because we did so many good things in the first half.
“We made it difficult for Blackburn to press us, we got the goal, go 1-0 up and I think we can go in at half-time maybe two or three up.
“I felt we could have been (more than 1-0 up at half-time). Tom Lawrence had a good chance, (Lee) Buchanan had a good chance and I felt, from the first half, we were in complete control.
“You could feel the frustration from the fans and the coaches and we had to take a bit more advantage of that.”
Rooney saw his side concede three goals to a Blackburn side that had previously scored just once in their last nine league games – but he felt game management was to blame.
He added: “We did not manage the game well enough and ultimately, that’s cost us.
“Their fans were lifted by the two quick goals. I said at half-time, ‘if they are pressing onto us, make sure we go more direct’.
“We had that much control, the players thought they were confident they could continue doing that but our decision making was not good enough.”
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray felt his side looked a “tired” team in the first half both mentally and physically, but they managed to get the job done in the second half.
He said: “I should have maybe changed four, five, six, seven players to be honest.
“We looked a really tired, emotionally-drained football team in the first half. There was a lot of fear and weren’t playing how we play on the front foot.
“I had a conversation at half-time of our expectations, we got on the front foot and played how we played in the second half, caused them more problems, took their composure away from them and we got the job done in the end.”
Blackburn earned victory for the first time in four matches and now have a four-point cushion in the Championship play-off places.
Mowbray added: “It’s an important three points. We’ll see if we can go to Reading and get another three on Saturday.”
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