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Gary Rowett: ‘We didn’t deserve three points’

Derby County manager Gary Rowett felt that his side did not deserve to win during their 1-1 draw with Birmingham City.

Hosts Derby went a goal behind in the second half when Lukas Jutkiewicz scored with a diving header. Sam Winnall cancelled it out four minutes later with a close-range header of his own.

The Rams had more of the clear-cut chances in the match, but manager Rowett felt that Derby’s performance was not one that deserved three points.

He said: “I do not think we did enough in an attacking sense to win the game, but I also think we did enough to have not lost the game.”

The 43-year-old described that he feels exasperated, as do his team, with their start to the season.

He added: “We are all frustrated with the start in some ways, but if we had won our game in hand against Ipswich at home, we would only be a point off of the playoffs right now. We have to make sure that we keep our balance and the way we perceive that.”

After falling behind in the match, Rowett made a double substitution which saw goalscorer Winnall and Mason Bennett being introduced.

The Rams boss felt that the switch was a sign of urgency rather than pre-planned.

He said: “I’m claiming that as a desperate substitution, at which point I thought let’s just chuck all three forwards on; any attacking player we had left, we needed to bring them all on.”

A notable absentee from the Derby side was forward Johnny Russell, who despite being fit, was not named in the 18-man squad.

When asked about his absence, Rowett was not prepared to give an answer; he did, however, suggest that the Scotsman may be available for the Rams’ next league game away at Brentford on Tuesday.

He added: “It was my decision to leave him out of the 18. I’m not sure whether he will be considered for selection right now, but it is a possibility.”

The draw for Derby on Saturday leaves them in 15th position in the Championship table, four points behind the play-off places.

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