United were 4-1 victors at Pride Park in one of the few games in England that survived the cold weather.
"We are trying to keep positive about everything. We have got a hard-working group of players who are endeavouring to be the best they can be," said Adkins.
"It's about winning games, if anything we have probably been too open. It is about picking up points away from home.
"We have got belief anyway but it is a big boost. We are trying to instil that belief when others doubt it. It is about trying to keep that work ethic going and allowing the players to play without any fear."
Nigel Clough, the Derby boss, was unhappy with his side's performance, and suggested his players expected to lose games.
"We just don't seem to have the character out there at the moment to get back in the game," he said.
"There are some players who have been here two or three seasons, who in the main have lost matches."