Gary Rowett expressed his delight at a ‘wonderful’ night under the lights at Elland Road as Derby County came from behind to beat Leeds United 2-1 and extend their winning run to four games.
The Rams fell behind to Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s strike after eight minutes but Sam Winnall made the difference once again with two goals in the last 20 minutes to turn the game around.
Rowett hailed the improvement that his side made after the break as they won back-to-back away games in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since April 2016.
He told RamsTV: “It’s a wonderful evening. We made hard work of it, it’s always a difficult place to come.
“I think we were feeling sorry for ourselves at half time, it was quite quiet, but as soon as we stepped on the pitch there was some really good energy and good play as well.
“I felt that we needed to mix it up a little bit, which is why Johnno stepped into midfield to give us a more attacking impetus, so I think it certainly worked.
“You’re going to have moments when your back is against the wall, and how many teams would come from a goal down at Elland Road to win 2-1? Not many I would suggest.”
Winnall came off the bench to score the winner against Norwich City on Saturday and he was given his chance from the outset here alongside Chris Martin.
Craig Forsyth’s inch-perfect cross teed the striker up for the equaliser before he converted from the spot to complete a superb comeback, and Rowett was delighted with the effect of his strike partnership.
He said: “I thought they were both excellent. Chris’s hold-up play, his touch and his ability to link the play, sometimes he drops into the number 10 position and that allows Sam to play higher.”
On Winnall, he added: “He’s been frustrated because he hasn’t had much opportunity, for him it felt like he had two or three weeks where he didn’t play much football, and when that’s the case, a player of his ability will want to get out on the pitch.
“It’s the perfect response; he came on in the last game and ended up getting the winner, and today he starts the game and scores two goals.
“We were patient and we worked the chance really well, Fozzy stepped into space with a wonderful run, it was a great cross, and when you see it in slow motion, Sam’s movement was terrific.”