After playing a crucial in Derby County claiming another impressive victory, Sam Winnall believes that the Rams’ winning run is proof that the side ‘mean business’.
The forward scored two goals in seven minutes as Gary Rowett’s men recovered from a goal down to defeat rivals Leeds United at Elland Road after Pierre-Michel Lasogga had opened the scoring early on.
That came after the on-loan Sheffield Wednesday forward scored a late winner off the substitutes bench as Derby defeated Norwich City 2-1 at Carrow Road last Saturday.
“It’s been a special few days for me to be honest,” he told RamsTV after the full-time whistle at Leeds.
“To be able to help this team to two huge victories is something I am going to remember for a long time. I’m enjoying my football and long may that continue.”
What’s clear is that Winnall also enjoys scoring goals.
His first of the evening was a poacher’s finish as he swiftly rushed across the six-yard area to turn in Craig Forsyth’s ‘unbelievable’ cross – a move that the 25-year-old says had been spoken about prior to the match with the full-back.
“I was hoping that Fozzy (Craig Forsyth) would put in that exact cross,” he said.
“We had spoken in training about when he gets in those situations, just flash it across the goal. That’s what I feed off.
“I want to get as close to the goal as possible and he put in an unbelievable cross, so much so that I just had the easy job of tapping it in.
“I’ll take the credit for the goal, but Fozzy’s cross was definitely the catalyst for it.”
After that, Winnall kept his cool to beat Andrew Lonergan from the penalty spot after Tom Lawrence had been fouled inside the area.
After scoring a third goal in two games, Rowett admitted to RamsTV that he has been given a huge selection headache in the attacking positions ahead of the visit of Reading on Saturday.
Speaking about that, Winnall says he is enjoying the challenge of proving himself week in, week out,
“I think that is a problem that he (Gary Rowett) is going to enjoy having,” he added.
“Over the last few games, Nuge (David Nugent) has been excellent, Vyds (Matej Vydra) has been excellent all season and Chrissy Martin was excellent again today too.
“Competition is high and that’s something I knew about when I came here, but all I want to do is constantly prove myself and show that I deserve to keep my place in the team.
“If the gaffer keeps faith in me, I’ll try and repay that every time with goals.”
Derby will be looking to sign off for the next international break with five wins from five when they take on Reading at Pride Park Stadium this Saturday.
Prior to the visit of the Royals, the Rams have collected a maximum return from tough looking fixtures against Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Norwich City and now Leeds United – and are also unbeaten in seven matches.
Winnall says it is a run of results that prove the Rams ‘mean business’ in the race for promotion to the Premier League, especially after an inconsistent start to the 2017/18 campaign.
“We’re very proud of this run,” the forward said.
“Before the international break, we weren’t in a bad place, but we had some points to prove. We have come to two big teams like Leeds and Norwich and also beaten Forest and Sheffield Wednesday.
“That sends out a big message across the League that we mean business this season and we want to be successful.”