David Ripley says he felt 180 was a decent score for Northants in their NatWest T20 Blast opener against Derbyshire.
But he felt the Steelbacks' powerplay bowling cost them as the Falcons cruised to a seven-wicket win at the County Ground.
Reigning T20 champions Northants made 179 for six, with Ben Duckett top scoring with 69.
But Derbyshire, who had won the toss and elected to field, batted well, rebuilding after the early loss of Ben Slater as Luis Reece's unbeaten 75 saw them to victory.
"The result wasn't great, but there were were some things we did okay," Ripley said.
"I thought 180 was a decent score.
"Derbyshire played well, they kept their momentum going and we wanted one or two overs to squeeze them, but they didn't come.
"If we look at our performance, the biggest area we need to improve is how we bowled in the powerplay.
"Those two left-handers score well through the covers and we should have cramped them up.
"But overall, we tried hard, they just played a bit better than us and we go on to the next game."
Northants' next game will be at Durham on Sunday.
And one positive they will take to Chester-le-Street is the form of opener Duckett, whose 69 was the home side's highlight of the night.
"Ben was great," Ripley said.
"The run-out (of Adam Rossington) could have affected us early on, but Ben played lovely and we've seen him do that before. Hopefully he'll do it again."