Derby boss Frank Lampard says 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa is a 'reality check'

Derby County manager Frank Lampard on the touchline
Image: Derby County manager Frank Lampard said the heavy defeat to Aston Villa was a 'reality check'

Derby's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Aston Villa on Saturday was a 'reality check', according to Rams boss Frank Lampard.

Two goals from Conor Hourihane, one from Tammy Abraham and a stunner from Jack Grealish put the game to bed before half-time, with Lampard's troops unable to mount a comeback of any sort after the break at Villa Park.

The defeat is the third in succession - following 1-0 losses at the hands of Millwall and Nottingham Forest - and comes at the point in the season where Derby, historically, seem to struggle to keep pace with the promotion-chasing pack.

Lampard reserved few words of praise for his squad after their heaviest league defeat of the season, though he seemed to retain some hope of an eventual top-six finish come the end of the season.

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Highlights from the Sky Bet Championship between Aston Villa and Derby.

He said: "We were poor and Villa were good. Credit to them for playing so well. It is a reality check so far as Derby are concerned. We have to learn from this defeat and it is something we have to address.

"There has been a negative feel as we are a club who expect a dip. The reason is that we have played a lot of games and we missed our midfield. Harry Wilson had been ill and could not start.

"As a team and squad we have to put in a better performance than we did against Villa. These things happen in the Championship. We have to work hard. There have been bumps in the road.

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"It is not over yet. We have to be positive over the remaining 12 games."

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