DERBY County's stuttering display against Burton Albion shows they still have work to do before the Championship campaign starts, writes Steve Nicholson.
The Rams beat Albion 1-0 but first team coach Paul Simpson felt the squad showed signs of rustiness with the big kick-off fast approaching.
He described the game at the Pirelli Stadium as a "good lesson".
"We knew it would be a tough game and we realised that we still have a fair bit of work to do," said Simpson.
"If we don't take care of the ball then we will make it hard work for ourselves.
"So we have things we really need to focus on over the next week and make sure when we come out against Rotherham United we have addressed those problems."
Derby play their final public friendly of pre-season today when Glasgow Rangers visit the iPro Stadium, kick off 1pm.
"What we need to do is keep working hard in training and get back to doing what we did last season," said Simpson .
"At the moment we are not quite there but we are working towards that.
"We have shown signs of rustiness but we're not getting screwed up about it because it is pre-season."
Derby started the Burton game with a different system to the 4-3-3 seen for much of last season.
They went in with roughly a diamond shape in midfield with John Eustace at the base, Jeff Hendrick to the right, Craig Bryson to the left, and Jamie Ward at the tip. The diamond failed to sparkle and Derby reverted to 4-3-3 after half an hour.
"We just wanted to have a look at something," said Simpson.
"Pre-season is a good way to learn. We tried a different system, it did not work.
"That wasn't to do with the system, we did not take care of the ball or move it quickly.
"When we were on song last season we passed the ball quickly, we worked people and got them chasing around."