Steve McClaren says he’s delighted with the attitude of his players after they bounced back from a 3-2 loss at Charlton by recording back-to-back wins at the iPro Stadium.
Derby faced Charlton for the second time in a week and having been beaten 3-2 at the Valley seven days earlier, the Rams took revenge on Tuesday with a solitary goal from Ivan Calero knocking the Addicks out of the Capital One Cup.
That result followed an emphatic 5-1 win over Fulham last weekend in which Derby ran riot over the former Premier League side, putting in a performance that brought back memories of the play that took them to the Play-Off Final last season.
McClaren insists he couldn’t have asked for a better response from his players and hopes they can extend their winning run when Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town visit the iPro Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
He told Rams Player: “I think the reaction from last week’s defeat at Charlton has been excellent, both on Saturday and on Tuesday night when we played them again.
“The response has been great and that’s what you need and all you can ask for. The squad has been building momentum and they keep getting stronger.
“I’m pleased with the players – particularly those who have come in like Ryan Shotton, who I thought never put a foot wrong against Charlton on Tuesday.”
McClaren rung the changes for the Second Round cup tie and brought Zak Whitbread in to the starting line-up as well as handing first starts to Shotton, Omar Mascarell and Leon Best.
The Head Coach was pleased to see the players coming into the team put in such a good performance and pick up the result in front of an expectant iPro Stadium crowd.
He said: “We said to the players before the game on Tuesday that they were going to have 16,000 supporters behind them, which is fantastic for a second round Capital One Cup match.
“We told the players that we owe it to them to give a good performance and get a result, and they’ve done that.”
“I think it is so important to get players that are around the squad some time on the pitch and even more so when you get the right result,” he added.
“Sometimes you do it and you get a bad performance and a poor result, but they’ve done the job and kept our momentum going.
“Now, we move onto a massive game on Saturday.”
Having progressed in the cup, the Rams boss says he won’t be afraid to make changes to his side again in the Third Round of the competition.
“It’s good that we’re in the next round and it’s good that there’s competition for places because we need that,” he said.
“It’s another game in which I can look at the squad and have a look at our younger players.”
Watch more from Steve McClaren in an exclusive interview on Rams Player.