Chris Martin says the hard work the squad will undergo over the coming weeks will play a vital role in forming the side’s identity throughout the forthcoming campaign, and is a key component to success in the Sky Bet Championship.
The first-team squad returned to the Training Centre at the end of June to begin their pre-season schedule.
Martin says it is integral the players replicate the high octane displays that formed the foundations of their Play-Off charge last season.
He told Rams Player: “We will be working very, very hard over the next few weeks to make sure that we are in the right frame of mind, but also in the right physical condition.
“I think that was part of our success last year – how fit we were as a team. If you look through the statistical data from last year, there will be very few teams, if any, that ran further and worked harder than we did.
“I think that was part of our makeup and our team ethic, and we need to carry that through this season.
“No matter who gets promoted, that is something teams have in common - they all work very, very hard together - and we want to be in that bracket.
“Everyone appreciates that football is an athletic game; you have to work all year round. You have to be fit and that is what this group of players have done over the summer.
“The main focus now is on preparation for the start of the season, and we want to peak at the right time come August against Rotherham United.”
Martin, along with Rams left-back Craig Forsyth, made his international debut for Scotland in their 2-2 friendly draw against Nigeria at Craven Cottage in May.
And the former Norwich City forward - who qualifies for Scotland through his father, who was born and raised in Glasgow – is hoping that he did his prospects no harm following a 45 minute outing for Gordon Strachan’s men.
He added: “It was a very good experience for myself to be perfectly honest, I really enjoyed it.
“I got 45 minutes against Nigeria – who went on to qualify from their group at the World Cup in Brazil, so it just shows the quality we were up against.
“But also, it gave me a gauge of the level of competition out there and I think, for me personally and as a team, we stood up to that test.
“All I can do is play well for Derby County first and foremost and hopefully that [future call-ups] will come along after I have scored a few goals for the Club.”
Watch the full interview with Chris Martin on Rams Player.