Matej Vydra is hoping that he has proven his worth to Gary Rowett and will get more chances to stamp his mark at Derby County.
The 25-year-old Czech Republic international returned to the starting line-up for Tuesday night’s Sky Bet Championship victory over Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium.
Vydra scored the winning goal shortly before the hour from the penalty spot, but impressed throughout the 68 minutes he played in the ‘number 10’ role, just behind David Nugent, against the Lilywhites.
“For me, I love this position because I like to play between the lines,” Vydra told RamsTV.
“It was a surprise for me to be starting on Tuesday. I just wanted to do my best and try and help the team get that win.”
Vydra has spoken of the importance of claiming all three points from the game with Preston.
It was Derby’s first victory of the season after they had been held to a 1-1 draw at Sunderland on the opening night of the new EFL campaign and defeated 2-0 at home by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“The Preston win was important after Saturday’s game (the 2-0 defeat to Wolves),” he added.
“That was a disappointing day for us. We didn’t play so well and we knew we needed to win our second home game. We did that and now it is important to carry it forward.
“It’s very early in the season, but in this competition you have to start from the beginning because if you slip at the start of the season then it can be difficult to catch those teams that are out in front.”
Next on the agenda for Rowett and his side is a trip to the Macron Stadium this Saturday, where they will be looking to build some momentum when they take on newly-promoted Bolton Wanderers, kick-off: 3pm.
Vydra, naturally, is hoping that he has done enough to retain his position in the starting line-up this weekend.
The former Watford forward is still building up his fitness after a stop-start return to pre-season at the end of June, but is continuing to make positive strides to get back to his peak condition.
Vydra said: “I have to build my fitness back up because I was injured for a week before the Preston game and before that I missed two weeks of pre-season and then another two weeks after.
“That was very frustrating because, during pre-season, everyone all want to show to the gaffer that they are the right players to play.
“I got my chance on Tuesday. I hope played well in his eyes and showed him my point.
“After 60 minutes, I had cramps in my calf. I’ll make sure that I put the work in and we will see what happens at the weekend.”