Striker loving every minute of Derby's promotion challenge.

Johnny Russell says he is savouring every moment of Derby County’s promotion challenge.

The 24-year-old forward has scored four goals in his last four home matches at the iPro Stadium and is on nine goals for the season, following his move from Scottish Premier League outfit Dundee United last summer.

Derby are confirmed in the Sky Bet Championship’s end of season Play-Offs with two games left to play in the regular league campaign, meaning an extension to their season.

With the prize on offer a place in the Premier League next season, Russell says it’s an exciting time to be part of Steve McClaren’s squad.

He told Rams Player: “We’re third in the table and we know what we need to do to stay there.

“It’s quite an achievement to be where we are and it shows how well we’ve done.

“It’s an exciting time and, of course, it’s the first time I have been involved in anything like this.

“I’m going to savour every minute and work so hard, like everyone else, and try to help us achieve something.

“We all have the same goal; we want to be in the Premier League.”

Russell scored what proved to be the deciding goal in Derby’s 2-1 win over Barnsley on Easter Monday.

The win, which was the Rams’ fourth in a row, means they can’t finish below fourth in the table and therefore will be at home in the Second Leg of the Play-Off Semi Finals.

“We can’t finish lower than fourth now so to know we will be at home in the Second Leg of the Play-Offs is pleasing,” Russell said.

“Hopefully we can do well in the First Leg and then put on a performance a few days later at the iPro Stadium and get to the Play-Off Final.”

Russell has insisted that Derby’s players won’t be taking it easy in the final two games of their league campaign.

The forward is adamant that the competition for places is strong and therefore places are up for grabs.

“I don’t think anyone will be taking the last two games lightly,” he said.

“There’s so much to play for, including places in the team for the play-offs.

“We all want to be part of what’s to come.”

Watch more from Johnny Russell in an exclusive interview on Rams Player.

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