Gary Rowett says it’s important Derby County don’t let their standards drop ahead of tonight’s visit to Millwall.
Derby are currently unbeaten in their last nine Sky Bet Championship fixtures, a run stretching back to the end of November, ahead of tonight’s clash at The Den (7:45pm kick-off).
Rowett’s side occupy second place in the table and have lost just two of their last 21 matches in the league since mid-September.
Derby have won 12 and drawn the other seven during that run to shoot up the table and into the promotion picture.
A key foundation of their good work has been solid defensive showings and composure on the ball – followed by excellent attacking play at the top end of the pitch.
All of those were on display when the Rams ran out 3-0 winners over Millwall last month, thanks to a David Nugent double and a strike from Matej Vydra, and the Derby boss believes those aforementioned qualities will be required against Neil Harris’ side.
He told RamsTV: “If you looked at the game it was probably an unfair reflection on Millwall’s performance because I thought they were very good.
“What we have to be mindful of is the fact that their home form is very good. They took the lead against Wolves recently and gave them a very tough game as they got a point.
“They have also beaten some good teams down at The Den this season. Neil Harris has got a good side down there and they will work incredibly hard.
“That said, it’s about us and what we do. If we defend as well as we have done recently and play with the same composure we’ve shown, our attacking players have the ability to be the difference.
“That was the case against Millwall at home last month – with Nugent and Vydra scoring - and we’ll need to see the team produce more of the same.
“We have been consistent and, as we know, we have to have the humility and hunger to maintain the standards we have set.”
Derby are unbeaten in ten on the road and have dramatically improved their away form.
Much talk at the start of the campaign was about the Rams’ poor record on their travels in recent seasons.
However, Rowett has found a formula that has produced more consistent performances away from Pride Park Stadium.
He said: “Our away form has been good and we’re pleased with it. At the start of the season our form at home got to a point where it was really good, whereas our away form was really poor.
“We have managed to turn the away form around and I think it is the best in the division over the last ten games or so.
“I wouldn’t say our home form has stuttered but as we saw against Bristol City (0-0 draw last time out) you can have plenty of the ball and create chances, but there’s that element of teams coming to Pride Park and not attacking as much and limiting the space.”
He added: “You look at points accumulated; there’s no golden recipe.”