Tom Huddlestone feels Derby County's players will have to learn quickly from their loss at home to Millwall on Wednesday night.
The Rams were beaten 1-0 thanks to Jed Wallace's second-half strike in a game where that goal, plus Fikayo Tomori's injury-time header for the hosts, were the only efforts on target in the entire match.
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And Huddlestone was left reflecting on a tough encounter.
He told RamsTV: “It was a difficult night and one we have to learn from quickly because a lot of teams will try and do that against us.
“They put ten men behind the ball, stayed rigid and organised and aimed to hit us on the break so it is something we are going to have to work on.
“Tonight, we weren’t good enough individually or collectively. We didn’t create too many clear-cut chances and it should have been a boring 0-0 but they sucker-punched us on the counter-attack and nicked it.”
It was only Derby's third defeat at home all season and their first since November, but Huddlestone knows that those dropped points could be crucial come the final reckoning.
He said: "Any home game that you don’t win is an opportunity missed.
“We had a couple of games in hand because of the good cup run we had but there is a long way to go and there will be a lot of twists and turns.
“Any team down to 11th or 12th will feel that they can get into the top-six. We are still in a decent position but one we need to improve on and at a minimum make sure we are in there.”
Next up is a trip to Nottingham Forest on Monday night and Huddlestone is keen to see morale raised ahead of the game with their arch rivals.
He said: "We have got to stick together as a squad. Everybody is pulling in the right direction we just have to keep working hard, getting a bit of luck and building momentum.
“I think the Forest game after tonight might be just what we need. It doesn’t need any geeing up, it is what it is. Us as players, especially us local ones and equally the fans, it is probably the biggest game of the season.
“There is no incentive needed there but after a home defeat to Millwall, it is probably coming at the right time.”