Derby were run ragged by striker Brett Ormerod, who scored once, forced an own goal, and could have had another three.
But Clough concentrated on his side's own failings, which worsened when Dean Moxey was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
"We seemed incapable of doing the simple things," said Clough.
"We looked very nervous and very short of confidence.
"The confidence is very fragile and we looked for short of ideas. At times we couldn't pass the ball to a white shirt."
For Derby there was little to cheer about as they failed to create a clear-cut chance.
Clough added: "We relied on our wide players to create things and I don't think they put in one useful cross today and the back four also struggled."
The hosts, who had gone four games unbeaten before their last two defeats, now face a daunting trip to leaders Newcastle on Monday.
Clough admitted: "We could go to Newcastle and get a result or we could lose 5-0 - at the moment I'm not sure where my money would be."
Ormerod's low cross in the 38th minute which was turned into his own net by Jake Buxton as the Seasiders took the lead.
Ormerod, who hit the bar in the second minute, added a deserved second 15 minutes from time when he was put clean through by Gary Taylor-Fletcher and rounded Rams goalkeeper Stephen Bywater to score.
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was thrilled with the 33-year-old's performance.
"Brett was a shining example to all young footballers today," said Holloway.
"I'm just glad he got the goal he deserved in the end. His movement and running off the ball was tremendous and he caused them all sorts of problems.
"I'm enjoying the way the team is playing at the moment and unlike most managers in this division I get a bonus for just staying up so I'm not thinking too much about promotion.
"I thought we thoroughly deserved it today but there are no easy games in this division.
"But I believe we will improve and today it looked like the players were enjoying it and believing in themselves."