NIGEL Clough felt Leicester City were flattered by their 4-1 victory over his Derby County side on Saturday.
The Rams were again beaten at the home of their rivals —where they have not won in 10 years.
Big-budget Leicester blew Derby away in the opening 25 minutes as goals from Zak Whitbread and Martyn Waghorn left the Rams shell-shocked.
It would have been much worse without the goalkeeping of former Burton Albion man Adam Legzdins.
Theo Robinson then scored to put Derby back in it but ex-England striker David Nugent’s late brace sealed it after the Rams had dominated the middle part of the match.
“The scoreline was somewhat harsh because we played well for spells today, especially after we got through, just about, a very tough opening half-hour,” said a disappointed Clough, whose side have lost their last four away matches.
“Once we got a goal back through Theo it gave us a lift and from that point onwards we controlled the game.
“Half-time came at the wrong time for us because we were so on top, and Leicester put 10 men behind the ball. But we kept probing and trying to create chances.
“The next goal was always going to be crucial and unfortunately it went to them, but we don’t help ourselves at times by conceding soft goals and giving teams starts away from home.
“In some ways the scoreline flattered them a little but they created a lot of chances in the first half and our defending wasn’t up to it, and letting in nine in the last three games on the road isn’t good enough.
“The early goal gave them a perfect start and as well as we played today, we’ve got to start defending a bit better and although there were some positives out there, it hurts to have lost 4-1.”
John Brayford says Derby cannot keep giving teams good starts on their travels.
The 24-year-old right-back was at a loss to explain why the Rams again defended so poorly after a 3-0 spanking at Crystal Palace, a 2-1 reverse at Millwall and a 3-0 defeat at Peterborough United.
“You can’t start games how we did in this league and expect anything from them,” he said. “All the lads were up for it —it was just the way we started.
“We conceded one and then another soon after.
“Maybe (it was a harsh scoreline) but it stems from the start of the game and you can’t do that at this level.
“You can’t get away with it at teams down the bottom, never mind teams towards the top who have spent money like Leicester with the players they’ve got.
“I don’t know if we were fortunate to go in 2-1 (at half-time).
“We were only one goal behind and could try to make that up in the second half.
“We had decent chances we could’ve scored from.
“They stuck their chances away and obviously have top players in their team.
“They’re clinical and finish you off really.
“Our chance in the game was at 2-1 and if we could’ve nicked one then I think the place would’ve been even more nervous and maybe we could’ve even gone on to win it from there.
“But it wasn’t meant to be and they caught us again and went on to make it three and four.”