Steve McClaren praised Derby after their winning run finally ended with a 2-2 draw at Fulham.
A pulsating game at Craven Cottage was a step too far for the Rams, as they failed to earn their eighth victory in a row, leaving the manager philosophical.
“What the boys have done for the past seven games has been incredible,” he said. “To win seven in any division is difficult – to win seven and keep six clean sheets is even harder.
“It had to end sometime and I’m pleased it didn’t end in defeat.
“I’m so proud of the players and the staff.
“Fulham kept coming at us and had our backs to the wall. This was the first time during our run we’d been behind and the players reacted well and got their reward.
“Our backs were against the wall and I was pleased with the spirit they showed after going 2-1 down. They stayed in the game and deserved the draw.”
Derby stunned their hosts with Tom Ince’s opener on 34 minutes and Fulham hit back through Floyd Ayite in the first minute of stoppage time.
Stefan Johansen pounced on a poor clearance to fire home the Cottagers’ second but Alex Pearce went on to equalise for the visitors.
Home manager Slavisa Jokanovic was disappointed to see Fulham let the lead slip late on.
“I cannot be completely satisfied,” he said. “We paid a heavy price for making a mistake. We played all the football, dominated the game and created chances.
“But it wasn’t enough to win the game and this isn’t the first time it’s happened. We must work to improve ourselves and make ourselves more solid and competitive.
“They scored twice after our mistakes and in this competition that’s not acceptable.”