PHIL Parkinson admits his side shot themselves in the foot with a wretched first-half performance at Derby County.

The Rams took a deserved 2-0 lead in at the break after goals from Alex Pearce and Matej Vydra.

The woeful Wanderers improved after a double substitution and formation switch at half time and twice hit the woodwork.

Tom Lawrence still extended the lead with a sweet strike just after the break, giving his side’s play-off chances a major boost.

Wanderers – who drop to 20th and could now be sucked back into the bottom three if Barnsley win their game in hand – got what they deserved after a timid first-half show.

“I was disappointed with the goals we conceded, especially the first one,” Parkinson said. “We came to Derby who had lost against Sunderland and knew there was an edginess about the ground. We could have used that but we gifted them the first goal.

“It should have been dealt with comfortably. And when you’re at a place like Derby you have to make sure the fundamentals are in place to stay in the game. We didn’t and we were punished.”

After Pearce headed home in the sixth minute, Vydra added the second when Ben Alnwick parried David Nugent’s shot into the Czech’s path for his 20th of the season.

Parkinson refused to pin the blame solely on formation or personnel changes – insisting the application of his players had not been enough in the early stages.

“The game went away from us – it doesn’t matter what system, what style of play, it is about making sure the fundamentals are in place to make sure you win a game of football,” he said.

“In the last two weeks, the last three games, we have gone away from it. We have to rediscover it.

“Are we suddenly going to become free-scoring? No, probably not.

“But we have to get that resilience back, starting with Tuesday night against Millwall.”

Parkinson insists his players are capable of getting themselves back on a consistent run.

“The lads are up for the battle and they understand the situation we’re in but in the last two games in particular we have conceded uncharacteristic goals.

“I have to make sure that doesn’t happen Tuesday.”