Derby manager Paul Warne rued his side “pressing the self-destruct button” again, as they warmed up for Liverpool by drawing with non-league Torquay.
Liverpool are next in action on Wednesday night as they host League One side Derby in the third round of the Carabao Cup, on the back of two big victories.
And they will take on a Derby side rocked by a frustrating 2-2 draw with non-league outfit Torquay United in the FA Cup first round on Sunday.
Warne made just one change to his lineup from the 1-1 stalemate at Morecambe in the league five days previous, with veteran striker David McGoldrick replaced by loanee William Osula.
That meant of his regular starters, only Conor Hourihane, Tom Barkhuizen and Jason Knight missed out, the latter duo currently sidelined through injury along with James Chester and Curtis Davies.
Hourihane, meanwhile, was on the bench, having sat out the previous game due to suspension.
Derby took a two-goal lead through efforts from Osula either side of half-time, but went down to 10 men just before the hour with Eiran Cashin sent off, and Torquay’s Asa Hall scored from the spot with the resulting penalty.
Then in the final seconds, Will Goodwin diverted in a stunning equaliser as the National League side clinched a valuable replay by drawing 2-2.
It served as a big setback for Derby in their preparations for Anfield, with Warne frustrated with his side’s habit of “pressing the self-destruct button” in a campaign that currently sees them seventh in League One.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit because now we’ve got another fixture we don’t want,” he told the club’s official website.
“We’re still in the hat in the FA Cup, which is a positive, but it’s just disappointing that we keep pressing the self-destruct button when we’re in such a comfortable position.”
On the upcoming Liverpool clash, he added: “The lads are going to have to play significantly better.
“But it will be a different kind of match so the lads can look forward to that and the fans can look forward to it too.”
Hourihane, who joined Derby from Aston Villa in the summer, is expected to come back into the side on Wednesday, while Warne’s decision over McGoldrick or Osula may be the only other alteration.