Will Hughes has said that Derby County players can ‘hold their heads up high’ after their play-off semi-final exit against Hull City on Tuesday night.
Derby gave themselves a mountain to climb by crashing to a 3-0 home defeat in the first leg, however in Tuesday night’s return fixture the Rams gave Hull a real scare by scoring two first half goals, reducing the deficit to just the one.
But despite dominating proceedings, they were perhaps unlucky not to pull off a remarkable turnaround.
And Hughes, speaking to RamsPlayer HD, says the players have made up for Saturday’s first leg debacle.
“They got men behind the ball and made it difficult for us and to be honest we were within inches of equalising with Craig Bryson’s chance.
“Obviously everyone is a bit down and deflated but we can hold our heads up high, which is a polar opposite from Saturday’s game.
“We believed beforehand that we were in the tie.
“We let a lot of people down on Saturday in the way we played and went about things – but this performance showed it was far from over.
“There was plenty of courage to get on the ball and play, but it leaves a sour taste in the mouth because we’re out of the play-offs.”
Hughes has played a cameo role this season, coming back into the fold after spending much of the season on the sidelines with a knee injury he sustained on the opening day.
However his performances at the end of this campaign will give Rams fans renewed hope that they can push on again next year, and go one better and make the playoff final.
Derby’s defeaters Hull City will face Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley on Saturday, with the winner set to secure a Premier League spot next season and the riches that come with it.