Derby County boss Phillip Cocu said Sunday’s 1-0 friendly defeat at Rangers was an ideal test ahead of the Championship season opener at Huddersfield on Monday.
Rams keeper Kelle Roos made a series of impressive saves to keep the scoreline blank, but could do nothing to prevent Nikola Katić’s late headed winner.
“It was an excellent test against a great team,” he said.
“It was a good game, up and down, (and there were) some periods in the game where I thought we did very well, some parts of the game we struggled.
“They pushed us back and the same in the second half.
“Kelle did some great saves so it was a really good test before we start the league because you want a strong opponent on their pitch, so I think we can be happy with this game, not of the result but because of the strong opponent.
“From the first 30 minutes, I thought we did a good job, we just need to push in the last final third of the pitch. We need to be more powerful in our finishes.”
Cocu said it was hard work for players completing gheir first 90 minutes, “but we need it before we start the league.
“In the end it was a deserved result for them and a good match for us.”
The manager also praised keeper Roos.
“It was shots but also one-on-one, crosses and he played a very good game,” Cocu said.
“I’m very happy to see him play so good. The goalkeeper is an important part of the team.”