Derby manager Nigel Clough accepted his team had been off the pace after they escaped with a goalless home draw against struggling Barnsley.
Clough saw his side outplayed at Pride Park, but the lack of a cutting edge in the Tykes attack ensured Derby claimed a point.
Clough said: "We are relieved that we've come away with a point when we were under par. We're very pleased with a point, but not pleased with the performance, although you have to give Barnsley a lot of credit."
He added: "They played exceptionally well and we didn't, but we've got a point out of it and we are better off than we were before the start.
"We didn't want to build the game up too much and say it was a must-win match, but it was a more tentative performance than the recent ones at home have been.
"The goalkeeper was brilliant. He kept us in it with a couple of one-on-one situations and then the save from Macken and who knows how important that point is going to be at the end of the season."
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