DUFFERS' DERBY DIARIES: No cause for alarm despite defeat to Stags
Any Derby fans leaving the One Call Stadium on Wednesday night could have been forgiven for perhaps feeling a little deflated.
Such has been the fanfare with which Frank Lampard's appointment was greeted, the optimism his arrival has generated and then a comfortable 4-1 win at Notts County in his opening game, most Rams supporters will no doubt have felt pretty chipper heading to Mansfield.
However, the 3-1 defeat will have at least brought one or two back down to earth such was the nature of it.
The important thing to remember is that this was just Derby's second match and, irrespective of the opposition, a little rustiness is likely as fitness levels improve and the Rams players become more familiar with Lampard's ethos.
They controlled the game in the first-half and played with confidence on the ball, albeit without really supplying enough quality to Cameron Jerome up front, instead doing most of their work on the flanks through Luke Thomas and Tom Lawrence, the latter also effective when allowed to drift more centrally.
The manner of the goals conceded was disappointing but the facts are that Kelle Roos, guilty of the error for the first, is unlikely to feature much during this campaign, and Jayden Bogle, who gave away the penalty, could be another who may end up being on the fringes at best. Most of those who are likely to be regulars didn't do much wrong.
So whilst pre-season defeats often cause more alarm than pre-season wins cause great joy, there's no need for panic just yet.
Southampton come to Pride Park on Saturday and it'll be a far more accurate test as to where the Rams are at. It's the first time home fans will have seen Lampard and his team in action and there could well be appearances for the two new loan signings recruited this week, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson.
The duo will offer plenty of youthful enthusiasm to the team and in Wilson there's a naturally left sided attacker that the team has lacked in recent times, and one who has already done well in this division at that.
That extra dimension could prove useful, particularly if it can be well balanced on the opposite flank and if the full-backs can link up well to offer yet more options. Natural and effective width was something Gary Rowett struggled to find in his tenure so it'll be a welcome relief to those who like that kind of thing.
It's under a fortnight now until the Rams head to Reading for the opening game and while much needs to be done, things overall look pretty positive and whilst players may still be set to come and go, Lampard's tutoring seems to have already had a positive impact.