STUART Findlay feels Oxford United’s display at Derby County is something to build on.

The U’s lost 1-0 at the newly-relegated Rams on the opening day of the Sky Bet League One season, courtesy of Conor Hourihane’s 80th-minute strike.

There was little to choose between the teams for most of the game, but Derby finished better as United tired with a lack of options on the bench.

READ MORE: Oxford Mail verdict on Oxford United's defeat at Derby

Findlay impressed on debut following last month’s move from Philadelphia Union and thought the U’s showed enough to be optimistic about the season ahead.

The centre back said: “It’s really disappointing to lose the game in the manner that we did.

“I thought we showed everybody what we’ve been working on and what we’re capable of doing.

“It’s disappointing because of what we expect of this season, this is the sort of place we can come and take a point.

“We expect to be up there and I think we showed we’re able to do that, but we maybe need to learn how to manage the end of the game better.

“It’s my first game in this league and I always want to improve.

“There’s a couple of things I need to brush up on and hopefully I can take that performance, along with the team, and show what I can do.”

The only blot on Findlay’s display was a sloppy pass in the build-up to Hourihane’s goal and the defender was punished by the former Aston Villa star.

It sent the home fans wild, but an away section of more than 3,000 U’s supporters played their part in a brilliant atmosphere.

Findlay said: “It was absolutely fantastic to play in a sold-out Pride Park.

“It’s something I relish, you come to this league to play in the biggest games and I think we gave a good account of ourselves.

“I saw online we were going to bring the fans and I was really excited to play in front of them.

“They didn’t let us down, for 85 minutes they probably out sung the home fans and I wish we could have given them something to walk home with.

“I hope they’ve seen enough from the performance to know we’re going to have a successful season.”

RATINGS: Every Oxford United player marked out of 10 for display at Derby

Findlay was a long-term target of head coach Karl Robinson and feels he is at the right club to progress.

He said: “I’ve always been aware that there’s been something there, but I’ve had to concentrate on wherever I’ve been.

“It got to a point where I knew I had to move on and when I got the call from the gaffer I knew that was something I wanted to do.

“I needed someone that believed in me, that put me on the field and let me show what I can do.

“All I can do is try and repay the gaffer’s faith in me.”