Derby County Manager Nigel Pearson Admits Defeat to Benfica Has Taught Him a Lot About His Squad

Published on: 16 July 2016

New Derby County manager Nigel Pearson has admitted his side's 4-0 loss to Benfica on Saturday night has taught him a lot about his squad.

Derby's opening game in the Algarve Football Cupdidn't go to plan aftera poor display from the Rams against the Portuguese champions.

Despite having fielded two different teams, some from the under-21s,Pearson still suggested he expected more from his players.

Pearson told theRams PlayerHD: "They (friendly games) are always useful exercises.

I think one of the key messages tonight will be that you learn a lot about your players in difficult circumstances - and I've learned a lot.

We certainly have work to do. I know that we had a few young players out there from our Under 21s and we were also playing an exceptionally good side, but I would still expect us to put on a better show than that.

What is important for us is that we can quickly affect some change.

Are pre-season games important to win? Yes, sometimes they are. My expectations for this game were that we were going to be up against a very talented side with a deep squad, which we haven't got at the moment.�

The 52-year-old manageradded: It's important to have a balanced reflection, but if we are going to make a serious challenge this season I want to see qualities that run right through the squad.

We will get that. The players will go away from this and get to grips with the work that we need to do.

We have to use this as an opportunity to look what we can do individually and importantly collectively “ and we'll go again tomorrow off the back of getting the players minutes under their belts.�

Pearson sees this experience beneficial to his side's season and hopes his team can learn from their mistakes against top opposition quickly ahead of next season.

The Rams head back to the UK on Wednesday and will continue their preparations for the upcoming season.

It is important that the players reflect on their own performances and learn,� he said.

We've had a tough first pre-season game. When we get back we have a series of games in which I want to see a big shift in terms of how we perform," Pearson concluded.