Derby boss Nigel Clough was "not too downhearted" despite watching his side miss out on the chance of a Carling Cup final at Wembley.
The Rams took a 1-0 lead into their semi-final second leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford but were beaten 4-2 on the night, fighting back from 3-0 down at the break.
Clough, however, admitted that the battling performance had been a vast improvement on their shoddy effort against QPR in the Coca-Cola Championship at the weekend. "The first goal knocked the stuffing out of us; 30 yards in the top corner you can't do much about those," he said.
He added: "Defending the second and third goals was disappointing but it was a vast improvement on Saturday - even the first half.
"It would be very easy to give up the ghost but we showed a bit of character, which after Saturday was what we were looking for."
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