Though the Under-23s were victims of a 2-0 defeat against Leicester City at Pride Park Stadium last Friday, Alex Babos says the nature in which the Foxes set-up demonstrated just how far Darren Wassall’s side have come the season.
Tough to break down in defensive and quick to counter-attack, that extra bit of experience was what proved to be the difference for Leicester.
The Under-23s now quickly turn their attention to this evening’s Premier League Cup clash against Middlesbrough at St George’s Park.
With a win against Birmingham City (1-0) and a loss against Nottingham Forest (2-1), a win against Boro would set the Rams well on their way to achieving a place in the knockout stages.
Having not qualified beyond the group stages in any of the cup competitions last term, Babos says there is a real 'impetus' within the squad to make the most of them this year.
Speaking to RamsTV, Babos said: “I think the cup has gone well, especially taking last year into consideration when we didn’t advance in any of the competitions.
“There is a real impetus on us to go and get the wins in these types of games to really progress on.
“Middlesbrough are a good side who play really good football. We are in no-way underestimating them and are ready for the challenge.”
As for the last game, Babos added: “The Leicester game was a frustrating night. To be fair to them, they did what they had to do and we couldn’t break them down.
“We take it as a compliment at the fact that Leicester felt they had to sit in, but the next step is about how we break that barrier.
“Before, we would be that team sitting in and countering, but now we’ve got the ball – it’s about learning how to use it more effectively and efficiently.”
Collective performances aside, November has been a big positive for Babos on an individual level.
Not only was he nominated for the Premier League 2 player of the month award, but Babos also received his first Wales Under-21 call-up.
“It was a great experience for me – going out to see other players and seeing what a different type of football is like," Babos said on the experience.
“It’s something that I’ve learnt from and can take a lot from.
“The call came out of the blue. Pat Lyons rang me to say that they had called me up and I left on the Sunday so it was all very fast.
“At that level, you see the difference in players that at playing at Under-23s level and those that are playing for a first-team.
“For me, the team have made it a lot easier for myself because I like to play to my teammates’ strengths.”