Full-back Gareth Roberts says Derby County's recent record does not reflect the quality of their play
GARETH Roberts believes it is only a matter of time before Derby County dish out a hammering to one of their Championship opponents.
The Rams were unlucky to lose 1-0 against promotion-chasing Crystal Palace at Pride Park Stadium on Friday night.
Nigel Clough's side fell behind to a somewhat fortunate goal and proceeded to create a host of chances – but found Palace keeper Julian Speroni in inspired form.
Their evening was summed up when Speroni tipped Conor Sammon's 87th-minute penalty on to the bar, denying Derby a point that few could argue they did not deserve.
Clough's men have now won only once in 10 games and are without a victory in six outings – a record Roberts feels does not reflect recent performances.
"They say you need a bit of luck in this game," he said. "We've been playing well for quite a few weeks now and got nothing out of it.
"I think one team is going to get it soon. If we keep playing like we are, we're going to score four or five goals in a match and we're going to batter someone."
The odds will be against Derby tomorrow night, when they visit league leaders Cardiff City, who have won 13 of their 16 home fixtures so far this term.
But former Wales international Roberts said: "We've got nothing to lose. We can go there, play our football and see what happens.
"They're top of the league and flying – let's go and give them a game.
"We'll keep playing our football, keep enjoying our football and if we do that, we'll be fine."
Roberts was back in the Derby team after serving a three-match suspension following his red card late in the 2-1 defeat at Hull City.
"Obviously, I was disappointed to be sent off," said the veteran defender. "It was a nothing challenge, really.
"I'm glad to be back now – just disappointed we lost the game against Palace. We definitely deserved something from it.
"I think we had most of the play and had loads of shots on goal but their keeper made some great saves.
"We got loads of balls into their box and I don't know how we haven't scored and got a point out of it.
"It was a great save from the penalty. Sammo hit it brilliantly but the keeper got a hand to it and, somehow, it came up, hit the bar and didn't go in."
Pacy winger Yannick Bolasie scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute.
Visiting skipper Mile Jedinak went into a block tackle with Jeff Hendrick inside the Palace half and the ball ricocheted over the Derby defence and dropped perfectly into the path of Bolasie, who rounded Adam Legzdins before slotting home.
"That seems to be the way our luck is going at the moment," said Roberts.
"Ledge (Legzdins) had nothing to save, really, in the whole game.
"They nicked one and sat on it. We were the team who played all the football and created all the chances but we couldn't score."
Left-back Roberts was faced with the task of dealing with England international Wilfried Zaha, who has been loaned back to Palace after joining Manchester United in a £15m deal.
And for the second time this season, the 35-year-old kept his highly-rated opponent largely quiet.
"He's a fantastic player, who's just been sold for £15m," said Roberts.
"He'll go on to bigger and better things. He'll be playing in the Premier League next season, so good luck to the boy.
"He's a great talent and I've enjoyed playing against him in the two games with Palace this season. It's a good challenge.
"I thought myself and Bray (John Brayford) did all right.
"It's just disappointing the way the goal was conceded."