Billy Davies was delighted with the character his Derby side showed in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.
David Jones, on loan from Manchester United, scored his first goal for The Rams in the 22nd minute and Davies is keen to secure him on a permanent basis in January.
"I thought we played well in the first half and moved the ball around but we didn't do as well in the second half and I thought we looked leggy," he admitted.
"But the most important thing was that even through that sticky period we were well organised and showed determination.
"I thought the two centre-backs were first class and David Jones was immense and showed his quality.
"We have got this young man on an emergency loan and I am trying to make that a permanent fixture. I am confident of getting him in January.
"It's always difficult to leave a big club but sometimes a player wants regular football and we hope to give him that stage and platform."
Palace boss Peter Taylor refused to get too downbeat despite seeing his side's poor recent form continue.
"Derby look a good team to me but, player for player, I think we are as good," he insisted.
"We showed the team that was second before kick-off that we are not far away.
"We are not having a great deal of luck at the moment. I am not making excuses but we need something to drop for us."