We’re six games into Gary Rowett’s reign as Derby County manager and Jacob Butterfield feels that timeframe has yielded a number of different positive signs.In terms of results, the Rams have picked up three wins, two draws and a defeat and showed an immediate reaction to the run of only one victory in 10 prior to the 43-year-old’s appointment last month.
A lot of Rowett’s focus has also been centred on the performances of his players, who have all applied themselves to adapting to a new, and more direct, way of playing.
The fruits of that have, at times, been there for all to see, particularly against Fulham, which Derby claimed a 4-2 win from and the second half against Nottingham Forest – Rowett’s first game in charge.
Whilst it is going to take time for Derby to completely get to grips with what the new manager wants from his players and looking ahead to the 2017/18 season, Butterfield feels the players have laid the foundations to build on.
With three games remaining of the current campaign, the 26-year-old midfielder is keen to continue learning, but feels this summer’s pre-season now represents a key period for the players.
Butterfield told dcfc.co.uk: “He (Gary Rowett) is still a new manager and this is a different style we are playing now compared to some of the previous managers.
“It takes a bit of time to fully master it, but there has been a lot of positive signs over the past six games.
“That’s something we have to build and improve on. Next season we will get a good pre-season under our belts and we will try and hit the ground running.
“The boss has been great. He’s very honest and the lads really respect and appreciate that. We know where we stand with him, we know what he wants from us.”
Mathematically, it is now impossible for the Rams to make a late surge for the play-off positions, but that said, Butterfield says Derby’s final three games of the season are no less important.
With trips to Yorkshire outfits Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United sandwiching a home clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, he feels it is imperative for the Rams to have a strong end to the season to set them up for the new campaign.
Butterfield added: “We want to win every game – no matter what there is left to play for – we want to win every game regardless, but with a new manager, going into the summer, we all want to do well.
“Between now and the end of the season we all want to show what we are capable of and give them something to look forward to ahead of the new season.”
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