Derby head coach Paul Warne admitted he was “embarrassed” after his team suffered a 2-0 League One defeat at home to Fleetwood.
Warne saw Derby lose a home league game for the first time since early October with Fleetwood deservedly winning on their first visit to Pride Park.
Fleetwood went ahead in the 11th minute when Jayden Stockley’s 25-yard volley came off the crossbar and went in off the back of goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith.
It was no surprise when they scored again in the 30th minute after Carlos Mendes Gomes beat two defenders and fired in at the near post.
Warne quickly made changes but it was Fleetwood who almost scored a third with Jack Marriott forcing Wildsmith into a good save at his near post.
David McGoldrick forced Jay Lynch into a diving save in the 80th minute but Derby created little in the game.
Warne said: “It’s a hugely-embarrassing performance. I thought the first half was abject at best and I was really disappointed with our level of determination if nothing else.
“First half we were atrocious. Second half we had a bit of a response but I still didn’t think there looked enough belief in the group to get themselves back in it.
“Fleetwood turned us, won first balls, won second balls, had runners, more energy and desire than us first half and deservedly went 2-0 up – it could have been four, hence why I made changes before half-time.
“I’d like to thank the fans who stayed with the team. I’d have booed a lot more than they did, but I just thought we got beaten up and I’ve said that a few times now, it’s beginning to become a recurring theme.
“I just think fundamentally, from one to 16 players I used today I just felt we weren’t as good as the opposition, it’s as simple as that.”
Fleetwood head coach Scott Brown praised his side, saying: “I thought the lads were extremely well disciplined and the goals we scored were brilliant.
“We were always going to be under the cosh in the second half a little bit more but we managed to deal with the amount of attackers they ended up having on the park.
“I thought overall, the performance was very, very good. We were calm, the back three was solid and we didn’t let them have too many shots at our goal and we put our body on the line when we had to.
“I always say to the lads ‘you want to play in front of these big crowds. When you come to these big stadiums you want to cherish the moment and the opportunity to show you can compete at this level’.”
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