Leeds-born Tommy Spurr popped up in first-half stoppage time to volley home David Dunn's corner, which gave Rovers their first league win over Leeds since September 2002.
"I didn't think we deserved to lose," said McDermott. "I think if we'd have scored in the first half we would have won the game. I thought first half an hour we controlled the game and looked very comfortable.
"They took the ascendancy in the last 15 minutes of the first half, scored the goal from a set-play which is obviously disappointing then it became a real battle and our players tried to get something from the game. It wasn't pretty and we couldn't quite do it which was disappointing.
"People miss chances. We worked it well and if that goes in it's a different game. The first goal today proved to be the most important."
Despite watching his side lose for the fifth time in their last six away games, McDermott refused to be too down and urged his players to focus on their upcoming fixtures.
"It wasn't as fluid as we'd like to be today," he said. "Having said that, the boys have shown great character and commitment. We've won three of the last four games. What happens now is you want to bounce back.
"All we can do now is concentrate on our next game and that's what we'll do. I never get too down after a defeat. You're never the world's worst when you lose and you're never the world's best when you win."
- Sports & Recreation
- Danny Pugh