Frank Lampard praised his Derby side for a confident display after they’d beaten Premier League side Southampton 3-0 at Pride Park on Saturday.
All the goals came in the second-half, Tom Lawrence scoring twice and Mason Bennett netting his third in three games.
And it left Lampard satisfied with the shift put in.
He said: “This is a long road and there is a lot of work to do but a 3-0 win against Premier League opposition was great to see.
“I didn’t really have any expectations as to where I wanted us to be at this stage but it’s a very quick countdown now to the first game and we’re not there yet in terms of fitness and playing levels.
“I was pleased with the response following the Mansfield game. Those kind of matches happen, especially in pre-season when everyone has ups and downs as you’re searching for fitness and form.
“So we shouldn’t get too down about that, nor too sure of ourselves after today - we’ve got Reading in two weeks and that’s the one we have to be ready for.”
Lampard praised the impact of loanee Mason Mount as well as young defender Max Lowe, who looked composed at left-back throughout against Southampton.
He said: “I don’t want to heap too much pressure on Mason but he’s a great prospect - he showed it in the Chelsea youth team and went to Vitesse in Holland last year and was outstanding there. This is another level, but Mason brings a real energy, quality and humility and he showed those things today.
“He’s had a very good year in a very good European league and that can only be good for us.
“Max deserves a mention because his work-rate and desire shown in training every day has been incredible. He was on loan at Shrewsbury last year and played some games and he looked really at home in this team today.”
The Rams are next in action against Coventry on Wednesday night in a match being played at the home of Nuneaton Town, before Wolverhampton Wanderers visit Pride Park next Saturday (28th).
Lampard added: “I’m not sure how we’ll approach the Coventry game as yet as we’ll get everyone back in for training and see how things are, but it’ll be another good test for us.”