Derby coach Andy Garner was happy to take the positives from Saturday`s 2-1 friendly defeat to Barclays Premier League side Birmingham.
The Rams fell two goals behind early in the second half but rallied to finish the stronger of the two sides after Gareth Roberts pulled one back with a fine strike.
"It was obviously disappointing to lose but we were very encouraged by the performance," said Garner on Derby`s official website.
"We may have lost 2-1, but we could have easily won the game.
"We started well and had all the play, but we needed end product.
"Hopefully we will have that in the first game of the season at Leeds. The Birmingham and Stoke games this week have been a real test for us."