Derby County captain Richard Keogh is praised for his character after FA Cup defeat by Blackburn Rovers
NIGEL Clough praised the character of Richard Keogh after the Derby County skipper's costly error against Blackburn Rovers.
Keogh's mistake just before half-time let in Colin Kazim-Richards to give Blackburn the lead in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie.
Scott Dann scored the visitors' second goal after 66 minutes before Jordan Rhodes struck five minutes later to complete Rovers' 3-0 victory.
Clough said Keogh's error was a key moment but also stressed it was a rare slip by the defender.
"I think Richard has made only two or three mistakes in 30 games all season," added the manager.
"He came in at half-time and held his hand up but I thought he played very well in the second half, which shows the strength of his character.
"The timing of the goal, just before half-time, changed the nature of the game."
Striker Theo Robinson was missing from the squad on Saturday due to a bout of tonsillitis.
Jamie Ward and Mark O'Brien were substituted as a precaution when Derby trailed 3-0.
It was Ward's second start since missing more than three months with hamstring trouble and O'Brien's groin tightened up.
Craig Bryson completed the game having struggled in recent weeks with a knee injury.
"He seemed OK," said Clough. "We kept asking him if he was all right.
"We were going to bring him off as well, just in case, but I think he needed 90 minutes."
Jake Buxton could join in training later this week as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury.
The defender has been sidelined since the home victory over Leeds United on December 8.