THE Dragons are battered and bruised after Boxing Day derby defeat but centre Jack Dixon is pleased they have a short turnaround to Sunday's clash with the Ospreys.

The Rodney Parade region endured a 22-17 loss to Cardiff Blues on Tuesday after leaving their late charge from 22-3 down too late.

They were unable to scramble the final part of a comeback, meaning they have lost 18 successive derby tussles in the Guinness PRO14.

The Dragons don't have long to lick their wounds and attempt to end that nightmare streak when they play their last Newport derby of the season on New Year's Eve.

Preparations start today (Thurs) at their Ystrad Mynach training base with head coach Bernard Jackman's management team having to balance recuperation with preparation.

Dixon was in the thick of it against the Blues in attack and defence but the powerful centre can't wait to get back out in the middle quickly.

"There are a couple of bumps and aches around Christmas time but that's part and parcel of it," said the 23-year-old from Newbridge.

"There's a short turnaround straight into the Ospreys and trying to bounce back. We haven't got time to moan about it, we have two days training and back into it.

"We are looking forward to it, hopefully we will get a better result and then we can kick on in 2018."

Dixon and his teammates won't need telling where they went wrong against the Blues.

A sluggish start in testing conditions and botched opportunities in the 22 meant early possession wasn't translated into points, then the Blues struck with tries by wings Aled Summerhill and Tom James either side of centre Rey Lee-Lo's score.

The Dragons responded in the final half hour through tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother and a penalty try from a driving lineout, but it was too little, too late.

"We did well to come back at the end in those weather conditions but hopefully we can put it right against the Ospreys," said Dixon.

"There were individual errors in key moments in the game. The Blues were more clinical than us, we had a couple of chances that we didn't take and they had a couple that they did, then we were chasing the game.

"We've been starting quite strongly this season, so I don't know what was different against the Blues. They got the edge over us and then it was tough to come back.

"We still feel that we are going in the right direction and we just have to keep growing as a team, then results will come."

The Dragons are likely to be without full-back Hallam Amos against the Ospreys after he limped off in the closing stages on Boxing Day.

Jackman expects to still be without Wales tighthead Leon Brown because of his concussion suffered against New Zealand in November, meaning Fairbrother is likely to start with Nicky Thomas dropping down to the bench.

Centre Sam Beard, who had a fine first season at Rodney Parade, is in the mix for a return to the matchday squad after suffering a torn pectoral muscle at Edinburgh in round two.