Derby County manager Paul Jewell was full of praise for his players after they were beaten 1-0 at home by Manchester United.
The Rams, who prop up the Premier League table, had several chances to upset the league leaders, before being beaten by a late goal by Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Jewell was in upbeat mood, having seen a much-improved performance following a 6-1 midweek thrashing at Chelsea.
He commented: "There are ways to lose matches and we lost with a bit of dignity and went down fighting.
"On Wednesday it really was men against boys, whereas the players showed character today, although we rode our luck early on because if a goal had gone in it might have been a different story.
"But it didn't and we grew into the game and we probably created more chances than we have in a lot of games this season.
"It was a pleasing performance and although we've lost again, I can accept it and we have to take heart from it."