Central defender Jake Buxton has paid tribute to the Rams’ supporters and has called on the Derby County faithful to drive the side on in Saturday’s East Midlands derby against Leicester City.
An impressive start to the campaign that has included a 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers and back-to-back victories over Oldham Athletic and Brighton and Hove Albion has seen Nigel Clough’s side remain unbeaten in their opening three fixtures of the new season.
And after over 1,000 Derby fans travelled down to the American Express Community Stadium last weekend to roar the side on to a memorable a 2-1 away victory over Brighton, Buxton has urged the supporters to emerge in vast numbers once again as they take on the Foxes at Pride Park this weekend.
He told Rams Player:“Leicester got a 0-0 draw with Leeds United last Sunday and they looked organised, reverting to three centre-halves at the back.
“We will take a closer look at them on Friday (today) and try and assess their weaknesses and then exploit them at the weekend.
“It is a massive game for everyone involved in the football club and we will work hard to try and give the supporters something to cheer about.
“The fans make a huge difference; in those last ten minutes of a game, if you’re holding on and you hear them singing and cheering you on, it drives you on and gets you through.
“Our support has been phenomenal; we took over 1,000 to Brighton, which I like to think we helped make an enjoyable day for them and hopefully we can do exactly the same on Saturday.”
Central defenders Buxton and Richard Keogh have been the mainstay of the side’s back-five this season and have been joined by Kieron Freeman at right-back and summer arrivals Craig Forsyth and Lee Grant at left-back and in goal respectively.
And 28-year-old Buxton, who made 32 appearances for the side last season, admits he has been pleased by how the defensive unit has performed so far and has targeted more clean sheets after recording their first ‘shut out’ against the Latics last week.
“Lee has been good; he is a great communicator and has got bags of experience at this level," said Buxton
“He is one of those players that go under the radar because he does all of his jobs right.
“Then in the back-four, Kieron has come in and really stepped up to the plate since John Brayford left, whilst Forsyth has slotted in exactly like he did when he was on loan last season.
“So we feel quite steady and sturdy at the back, and our aim as a group is to keep more clean sheets to help the side.
“We thought we deserved a clean sheet against Blackburn - we weathered the storm - and we defended quite well at Brighton.
“But it was nice to get one under our belt against Oldham, and as a group we will try and get another one on Saturday, but the aim objective is to win the game.”
Watch the full pre-match interview with Jake Buxton exclusively on Rams Player.