The passionate Argyle manager is annoyed that his side are not getting the credit they deserve but hopes this result against Billy Davies’ Rams will make people take notice.
Holloway said: “It was a battle out there. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t the best but we have got great team spirit and they showed great spirit. There were some strange decisions out there but we got on with it and got the result.
“Maybe more people will take a bit of notice about us now because we are not one of the fashionable clubs.
“We are trying to build something down here and maybe a few more people will take notice now we are up to fifth in the Championship.
“There’s still a long way — 35 games — to go but we are here now and have got something to build on.”
Argyle were reduced to 10 men in the 48th minute when Mat Doumbe received his second yellow card, following a foul on Morten Bisgaard.
It could have signalled the start of the end for Argyle, as Derby were in the ascendancy having cancelled out Paul Wotton’s 44th-minute spot-kick opener with Arturo Lupoli’s goal in first-half stoppage time.
On-loan Arsenal teenager Lupoli stuck a leg out to turn Michael Johnson’s shot past home ‘keeper Luke McCormick.
But defender Johnson was cautioned for fouling veteran Argyle striker Barry Hayles for Wotton’s second penalty conversion in the 63rd minute.
Derby boss Billy Davies felt aggrieved: “Two decisions cost us dearly. We felt Jon Stead was impeded leading up to their first penalty, which was a soft goal and was a penalty, although we felt the play should have been stopped before then.”
A crucial turning point came with Argyle 2-1 up but reduced to nine men because substitute Hasney Aljofree was off the field with a suspected broken nose.
Adam Bolder sent a deft chip towards the top corner but McCormick back-pedalled to make a magnificent save, tipping the ball over.
The save proved crucial as Argyle – restored to 10 men – went 3-1 ahead when Tony Capaldi’s corner was flicked on by Hayles and headed home by Marcel Seip at the far upright.
PLYMOUTH: McCormick, Connolly, Doumbe, Seip, Capaldi, Norris, Nalis, Wotton, Buzsaky (Samba 77), Hayles, Ebanks-Blake (Aljofree 51), Aljofree (Summerfield 73).
DERBY: Grant, Edworthy, Moore (Leacock 56), Michael Johnson, Camara, Bisgaard (Smith 68), Bolder, Oakley (Seth Johnson 77), Lupoli, Howard, Stead.
Referee: P Taylor (Hertfordshire).