Frank Lampard felt a draw was ultimately a fair result in Monday night's stalemate with Nottingham Forest - but was adamant his side should have had a first-half penalty.
The East Midlands derby lacked quality in the final third from each side as both sides went away with what was a fair point each.
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But Lampard felt things could have been different had Tendayi Darikwa's challenge on Tom Lawrence in the first-half been punished with the penalty the Rams boss felt it deserved.
He said: "It was a close game that could have gone either way - both teams gave everything and maybe it was fair in the end.
"But there's no doubt it should have been a penalty, everyone in the ground knew it was a foul except for the referee.
"The defender follows through and catches Tom around the waste and I couldn't believe it wasn't given - it wasn't one that even needed a second look. VAR or anything like that.
"I'm on referees' sides most of the time but in a close game, a penalty then could have been the difference.
"I enjoyed the intensity of the game, though. You can tell what it means to both sets of fans and it was on a knife edge throughout."
Despite the key penalty decision not going his side's way, Lampard remains happy with the progress being made.
"If someone had offered me fourth at this stage when we started we'd have taken it.
"We're not ahead of where we should be but we can be happy at the same time as wanting more. There's a long way to go."