Nigel Clough admits he was surprised how poor Derby were in his first game in charge on Saturday — and claims Burton might have done better.
Clough left Blue Square Premier leaders Burton to take charge at Pride Park earlier this month but was given a rude awakening as a Coca-Cola Championship boss as his side crashed 2-0 to QPR.
The defeat was Derby's third in succession in the league and a sixth in eight games and left them just two points above the relegation zone.
Clough said: "They know they didn't perform on Saturday but we hope we bottomed out in that department and everything goes up from here.
"There were things going on — we have come from dealing with players three or four leagues down — basic things, that lads at the level we used to be at were better at.
"There wasn't a spark out there and defensively the two goals were very poor from our point of view.
"I've been in a state of shock for the last 48 hours.
"We certainly hoped it would be better than that — but it wasn't, and it we can only get better.
"If it gets any worse we are all in trouble."
The Rams travel to Premier League leaders Manchester United tonight for the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final looking to protect a 1-0 lead.
A draw would book a place in the final.