Performance was the big talking point for Jeff Hendrick as he spoke to Rams Player HD on Thursday morning.
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s trip to the Capital, where the Rams face Brentford (3pm), Hendrick believes that key word and confidence are going to be key if he and the side are to arrest Derby County’s eight-game winless run in the Sky Bet Championship.
Sticking with that word, performance, the 24-year-old Republic of Ireland international admitted that the displays ‘haven’t been good enough’ over the last month and a half.
He does, however, believe there has been a sprinkling of misfortune thrown in and working under a new era, after Darren Wassall took over the reigns as Head Coach earlier this month, Hendrick says there is a determination across the group to get their performances back to a level they know they are capable of.
On the recent events at the club, the midfielder said: “You only have to look at all the teams around every league and managers have come and gone frequently.
“It happens, but as players we have to keep doing what we are supposed to do in training, work hard and just improve the performances across the team because that’s normally why a manager or a head coach ends up leaving. Performances haven’t been good, we know that.
“At times we have produced some really good things. I do believe, though, that we have been unfortunate in the last eight games.
“In some games we can hold our hands up and say that we haven’t been good enough, but we have been working hard on the training field to get that confidence back and we need to show that on Saturday.”
On playing under Wassall, who was Academy Manager during Hendrick’s time as a scholar, he added: “I have worked with Darren for a while now and he has done a lot of good things with the club.
“He got a little chance a couple of years ago when he took over for one game, but now he has got a longer opportunity and myself and the rest of the players are getting behind him and trying to make sure our performances are right.”
Some of the best displays that have been produced by the players this season came in October against two of the sides that they comfortably defeated during that period.
Hendrick started both fixtures as Derby inflicted a 2-0 victory over Brentford – tomorrow’s opponents – before beating Wolves 4-2 at the iPro Stadium in one of their standout displays of the 2015/16 season so far.
Ahead of a big week for the club, which will see Wassall’s side face Brentford, Blackburn Rovers and Wolves, Hendrick is looking for a repeat of those displays as the squad look to get their promotion charge back on track.
“We played Brentford and Wolves back in October and we put in two really good performances,” he added. “We got six points and the aim is to replicate that over this coming week.
“We know what we have to do. We have got three hard games; every game in this league is hard, but these will be difficult.
“Brentford are a very good team, especially at home, so we have to go there with the confidence that we can turn things around and get three points.
“That’s what we want and right now it is what we need. Our performance has to be right.”
Tweets by @ dcfcofficial