Curtis Davies says now is the time for Derby County to get back to winning ways.

The Rams sit fifth in the Sky Bet Championship table with nine matches left to play and have occupied a top-six spot for several months.

Derby have picked up five draws and two defeats from their last seven matches and Davies believes it’s important for the side to return to winning form as the end of the campaign edges ever closer.

Despite not tasting the winning feeling in recent games Gary Rowett’s side have lost just twice in their last 17 games and only seven from 37 matches over the whole campaign to date.

Davies, who turns 33 on Thursday, has made it clear that Derby must not fall into the trap thinking they will finish in the top-six just because they have been there since November.

The defender, a promotion winner with Hull City two years ago, is one of a number of vastly experienced players in the Rams’ dressing room – and he hopes to make that count in the weeks ahead.

Davies said: “We need to make sure we stay in the play-off places because it’s not a given that we’ll finish in there.

“There are nine games to go this season and we need to make sure we start winning games to stay in the top-six.

“We’ve not been winning games enough lately and we know that. We had a similar spell when I was at Hull two years ago, we had a difficult run and then came strongly towards the end of the season before going up via the play-offs.

“Hopefully we can do something similar now; we certainly have an experienced squad.”

Derby kept their first clean sheet since early February in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at local rivals Nottingham Forest.

Davies felt the point and clean sheet were the key positives to take away from the game at the City Ground, but he did admit to being disappointed that the Rams didn’t take all three points after having the better chances.

Reviewing the game, he said: “Playing with ten men towards the end I think you could view it as a good point.

“At the same time Scott Carson didn’t have a telling save to make all afternoon whereas their goalkeeper made two crucial saves when we could have scored.

“We were probably a little bit disappointed but we did manage to keep a clean sheet and another point towards where we want to go.

“We just have to keep going in the final nine games.”

Derby return to Championship action on Sunday with a Pride Park Stadium clash against fellow promotion rivals Cardiff City (12pm kick-off) in the final game before the March international break.