Derby boss Gary Rowett believes his side can play even better in the second leg against Fulham
Gary Rowett insists Derby “can do better” despite taking a 1-0 lead into their Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Fulham.
Cameron Jerome’s first-half header gave Derby the advantage over Slavisa Jokanovic’s Fulham on Friday evening, as they look to return to the Premier League following a 10-year absence.
Though Rowett praised his side for a job well done, he admits there are some areas of their game they will need to do better at Craven Cottage on Monday night.
Fulham vs Derby
May 14, 2018, 7:30pm
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Rowett told Sky Sports: “It’s half-time, we spoke about it in the dressing room. I said whilst I was very pleased with our defensive concentration, and with our counter-attacking, we can do it better.
“We can step out a little bit better at times. It’s going to be a tough game down there, because they do what they do well, tire you our mentally and physically.
“We’ve got to do things at a better level, but we’ve given ourselves a fantastic opportunity.”
Highlights: Derby 1-0 Fulham
Rowett gave an insight into his approach against an in-form Fulham side who had gone on a 23-match unbeaten run before their final day defeat by Birmingham City, and how they reduced them to just a handful of chances.
“I was very happy with lots of things. When we showed the quality on the ball we got in some really good positions, I thought we were a counter-attacking threat all night, which is something that we worked on a lot – even though we were at home, we thought we could take advantage of that.
“We know Fulham are a good side and it’s that conundrum of trying to press them too high and I thought defensively, we were very, very disciplined.
“We didn’t allow them very many chances, I thought Curtis Davies marshalled Mitrovic fantastically well. And actually, I felt we could have picked them off for a second and I’m a little disappointed we didn’t.
“You can see when we switch play, we get into great positions.”
Watch Fulham v Derby in the Championship play-off semi-final second leg on Monday night on Sky Sports Football