City boss delivers his thoughts following Pride Park stalemate...
NATHAN JONES admits he is harbouring mixed emotions after his side battled to earn a point against Derby County on Wednesday evening.
Whilst the Welshman was understandably delighted with the resilience his players displayed in chalking up a third successive clean sheet, he was frustrated at the manner in which the Potters struggled to gain any real foothold on the game.
Speaking to the media following the encounter, he said: “We made hard work of the game tonight for sure, and we were our own worst enemy at times to be honest.
“Listen, I picked a team of footballers tonight to go out there and retain possession of the ball because we know that Derby are enthusiastic, they are dangerous and they have quality.
“I put three footballing midfielders out there and players up top who are potent enough to cause problems, but for whatever reason we never got going, especially in the first half.
“We were reliant on Jack Butland and the woodwork for keeping it level at the break, but we shored up during the second half and were a lot better.
“We even had a couple of opportunities to have won the game, one really late on through James McClean, but that would have been incredibly harsh on Derby.
“There were a lot of areas that frustrated me tonight, but we managed to dig ourselves out by registering another clean sheet - a third in succession, and for that I am incredibly proud of the lads."
“If Derby are still in the Championship next season then we will come here and give a far better account of ourselves.”
He added: “We will be more dynamic and far more potent I can assure you, but right now we are a work in progress, and tonight there were more positives for us to take, especially from a defensive point of view.”