Paul Warne wants his Derby team to be “braver” despite closing in on the top two with a 3-1 win over Lincoln.
Derby’s head coach brought on Kane Wilson for the second half and he scored and set up the third goal which sealed a sixth win in seven games.
Conor Hourihane gave Derby a 26th-minute lead with a drive from just inside the area after Lincoln failed to clear a Joe Ward cross.
But Ward gave away a penalty in stoppage time when he tripped Paudie O’Connor and Danny Mandroiu confidently put away the spot kick.
Wilson replaced Ward and he restored Derby’s lead in the 65th minute with a looping header from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing’s cross.
Wilson then delivered a precise pass in the 77th minute that sent James Collins through to score with a low shot inside Lukas Jensen’s far post.
Derby are now one point behind second placed Peterborough but Warne said: “We didn’t do enough with the ball first half, we didn’t play with enough personality, we weren’t brave enough.
“I would like us to play with a bit more personality. I just feel we have another gear and I just think we have to keep trying to get better.
“I was disappointed with how we started the game and I appreciate the opposition make it difficult but it still didn’t feel like we had the purpose I think we need to have in our play to go up as champions potentially.
“I want to get in the top two, I want the lads to want to get in the top two and they give me everything at times but tonight I didn’t think we were brave enough. You have to be positive with your decisions and I thought we were just a bit too safe.”
Lincoln head coach Michael Skubala said: “Disappointed by the outcome. We did well to get in at half-time at one all and I thought we started the second half brightly.
“But you can’t come away to places like this and concede on a set-piece. You work so hard, then concede on a set piece and then it’s always going to be a difficult place to try and push.
“I felt like at times we had moments where we could have been better with the final pass and in transition when we won it back we needed to be a bit tidier. We carried a little bit of a threat tonight but we still need to do better.
“It’s a tough place to come, they have experienced players and we’ve got to grow up in moments as a team but disappointed at the outcome.”