FRANK Lampard praised Millwall for their organisation and the clinical way they took their goal – but rued his side’s inability to turn majority possession into chances.
Jed Wallace gave Millwall the win with a 72nd-minute breakaway goal.
Derby had just one effort on target, Fikayo Tomori’s header saved by Jordan Archer in injury-time.
“There were no surprises, Millwall defend, they’re very well organised,” Lampard said. “We had lots and lots of possession but we weren’t quick enough with it at times. We didn’t have enough imagination to break them down and they scored with their only shot, their only attack.
“It was a combination of us not being bright enough with the ball and then a lapse, and they were clinical, fair play to them.
“It’s a game where if you’re not at your best you should draw 0-0. I thought we’d cause them more problems defensively because we had the ball and moved them okay. But when the critical pass came we didn’t make the right one, we didn’t make the right decision.
“It meant we didn’t create enough. We had a great chance with Jack Marriott, yes, but other than that we didn’t do enough.
“I’m not one to sit here and crow about having whatever percentage of possession. It was a game if you wanted to win you had to have more.”
Neil Harris admitted surprise that Derby played 3-5-2, Ashley Cole and Duane Holmes playing as wing-backs and in the first half looking like they would give their side key attacking platforms.
But Cole, 38, was withdrawn late on as Millwall produced a classic away performance.
Lampard explained the thinking behind the formation.
“To use the width of the pitch and move the ball,” he said. “In terms of the shape of the team it worked well. We were never under pressure in the game apart from long balls which is what you expect from Millwall. Set-pieces from all over the pitch will come into your box and I thought we handled them brilliantly. Defensively, the three at the back, we were not bothered until we made a mistake.
“In terms of how we played it gave us plenty of possession but it was the fact that we couldn’t use the ball better in their final third of the pitch. We got up there but it was condensed and we weren’t bright enough.”
Image: Millwall FC