Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill had no complaints with the result after seeing his side go down 2-0 to Derby at Pride Park.
A first-half Robbie Savage penalty - after Aaron Mokoena upended Tomasz Cywka - and a second-half strike from Paul Green secured a fifth straight win for the resurgent Rams, who are riding on the crest of a wave after a shaky start to the season.
Cotterill said: "We have been second best. Derby were better than us certainly in the first half. They deserved to score before they got the penalty, for the tempo of their play they deserved to score in that period.
"The second goal was against the run of play and I think we were the better team in the second half but we didn't earn our luck in the second half. Derby deserved their win and we have to take it on the chin.
"But I thought they had a go in the second half, I thought they showed fantastic character in the second half and even at 2-0 we didn't stop playing and trying to create chances.
"It was our first-half performance which lost us the game or Derby's first half being better has won them the game. We never worked hard enough in the first half to earn our little bit of luck in the second, that's the bottom line. Derby worked hard enough to keep a clean sheet in the second half so good luck to them."