Blackpool boss Ian Holloway admitted his players had “lessons to learn” after Steve Davies continued his remarkable comeback with a second half double to earn Derby a 2-1 win at Pride Park.
Thomas Ince fired Blackpool into a second minute lead but Derby hit back and Davies clinched Derby’s first win in eight games with his third goal since recovering from a fractured skull.
Holloway applauded the 20-year-old striker but was unhappy at the way the game slipped away from his team.
“I felt comfortable in the first half, I didn’t want it to end but they started the second brightly, almost scored and before you know it’s all level but that’s the Championship.
“We started really sluggish, we looked like a diesel rather than a Rolls-Royce but that’s what happens at this level.
“Derby did well and came back but they’ve got six points off us this season with three set pieces so if we want to be as good as everyone else in our division and above, we’ve got to learn to deal with those things.
“Set pieces are absolutely vital, whatever football you play, you have to deal with set pieces.
“They scored from two, one bloke has a free header (Steve Davies) and I’m very proud of that boy for getting over what happened to him but we have to learn how to deal with those things.
“We didn’t do well enough and well done to Derby. I think my lads might have moaned to the referee too much at times and that’s not good so we have got a lot to learn.”
Derby coach Andy Garner described Davies as magnificent and said he had shown bravery to come back from a career-threatening injury.
He said: “It was an horrific injury and you’ve got to be brave when you’ve got plates in your head.
“This shows he’s determined and strong enough to deal with that and he’s proved that in the last couple of games.
“He was absolutely magnificent and it’s great to have him back. It’s hard to believe how many injuries he’s had for a 24-year-old but there’s no doubt he’s a threat and he does score goals.
“He’s in the right place at the right time and sometimes you get in the right area like he did tonight and he finished it brilliantly.
“I thought after giving away a terrible goal we got back in the game and took it on in the second half and were outstanding.”
Blackpool started the game as if intent on boosting their goal difference as Ince punished slack defending to fire his team into an early lead after Gareth Roberts failed to clear but Derby worked their way back into the game.
Ince was foiled by a fine save by Frank Fielding but the visitors’ early control slipped away and Derby finished the half strongly and could have been level by the interval.
Davies nearly equalised straight after the restart but in the 51st minute his low free kick took a deflection off the wall before nestling in the bottom left corner.
Alex Baptiste rescued Blackpool with a goal-line clearance after Theo Robinson broke clear but Derby deservedly went in front in the 75th minute when Ben Davies curled a free-kick in from the left and Steve Davies was completely unmarked to head past Matt Gilks.
Blackpool could not find a reply and Holloway revealed he was not optimistic of landing former Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler.
“I’ve got to talk to him tomorrow but if it stays as it is at the moment, he won’t sign.”