Derby head coach - We played 'excellent' football

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Steve McClaren has praised his side’s performance, following the Rams 3-2 victory at Ewood Park.

Derby secured their first win at Ewood Park since 2001, with goals from Jamie Ward and Will Hughes extending their unbeaten run to five games.

Although Ben Marshall and Rudy Gestede scored for the hosts, the Rams dominated, and it never looked as if they were going to lose the game. It was the first performance this season that resembled their excellent form from last year - form that saw them reach the Play-Off Final.

Having spoken before the game about how Derby had yet to reach the highs of last season, McClaren was keen to see a more patient style of play, with the Rams focused upon their own game - regardless of the scoreline or opposition performance.

And having conceded in the opening minute of the game, Derby continued to retain their ability to play football, and it was rewarded with an equaliser eight minutes later, before a second had the Rams ahead at half time.

Speaking to the official Derby website, McClaren was grateful to see his players heed his words, claiming that, despite having gone a goal behind, the football played was some of the best the head coach had seen this season.

The former England manager said: “From the beginning, we went a goal down, but we never lost our composure, never lost our courage to play and some of our football was excellent.

“They were changing systems and they couldn’t live us. We said at half time that they have got to do it again because it was only 2-1.

“There were opportunities to score more goals and at 3-1 we felt comfortable. Their goal came from nothing, nowhere, it was a poor goal, and that gave them encouragement for the last 10 minutes.

“It was a little similar to Sunday, we have had two like that, and it’s not going to do my heart any good at all.

“The way we moved the ball and built from the back, no matter how much they pressed, we had outlets and found solutions. Especially in that first half, we were wonderful looking back.”

However, McClaren has revealed that the Rams struggled to deal with the physicality of Blackburn - something that will need to be worked on to achieve success in the Championship.

He added: “There was too many giants on for us to cope with at the end, but we survived and we deserve the points, deserve the win and we move on."

The result moved Derby onto 12 points, with three wins from seven games, leaving them one point outside the play-off places. They host likely-to-be managerless Cardiff City on Sunday, hoping to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

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