Paul Jewell believes his side is making progress despite their 4-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.
Goals from Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, and a brace from Carlos Tevez sealed the win for the Reds, but Derby pulled one back to score their first away goal of the season.
Jewell hopes his side can take positives from the game but insists that they need to improve defensively.
"The goals we conceded were so bad defensively. We had four chances to clear the first goal and we got punished when we didn't.
"You're not going to win any matches playing like that. We showed courage and had a bit of conviction, so we have to take the positives from that."
The Rams manager made changes at half time when he brought on Steve Howard, pushing Giles Barnes up front with Kenny Miller, and Howard went on to bundle home Derby's consolation goal.
Jewell concedes that his side were lacking up front but admits it is difficult when playing a team like Manchester United.
"We tried to get them both up there but when you play a team like Manchester United it's difficult," he added.
"They've got that unbelievable will and desire and that's what we should have. It's very difficult when you play a team like Man United.
"Hopefully we can give the fans something soon. It's a positive, still haven't hit the back of the net yet, but it was a great move.
"It would have been nice to keep it to 1-1 in the second half. I'm disappointed because you know, 1-1 second half would have been good for us."