Cameron Jerome scored his third goal in two games to help Derby County to a draw against Aston Villa, but said the team’s disappointment with leaving without the three points shows the character of the team.
For the first time in Jerome’s Derby career he scored goals in back-to-back games after he also bagged two crucial strikes in the midweek win over Cardiff City.
Jerome was offered up the ball for a clinical finish after Andreas Weimann pinched possession from Neil Taylor on the byline.
Derby kept the lead from the 13th minute up until the 83rd after Villa’s second-half pressure finally paid off.
A huge win against Cardiff on Tuesday night took some pressure off the Rams heading into the final games and a draw is enough to keep the play-off race in their hands heading into their final game of the season.
Despite that, Jerome said Derby were disappointed with the manner of the draw after such a strong start against the fourth-placed side.
He told RamsTV: “It is slightly disappointing considering the time that we conceded the goal, but on reflection you have probably got to say Villa deserved something given the amount of chances they had in the game.
“We started pretty bright, got the goal and looked very threatening on the counter attack. A little bit more luck and more care on the ball then we probably could have created more chances ourselves.
“But I think we can be proud of our spirit and battling performance. It goes to show the character in the dressing room [being disappointed with a draw].
“We set a high standard of ourselves, we believe we have the ability and quality to match any team in this division.”
The 31-year-old has found his form again just at the right time, with three goals in the last two games after scoring two in the 30 Sky Bet Championship matches before.
“It’s about confidence and getting a run of games and getting chances to score goals,” said Jerome.
“I’ll always score if given the opportunity to do so. It’s nice for me to get another goal and help the team out.
“I’ve just got to help the team in anyway I can whether it is scoring goals or working hard being a nuisance down the line. I’ve just got to do what my game is about.”
It’s been a busy but successful week for the Rams who picked up four points against two top-four sides, proving they can put up a fight against any team in the league.
With a play-off place within their sights, Derby have one last hurdle to get over. In the last game of the season they meet Barnsley at Pride Park Stadium next Sunday (6th May 2018, kick-off: 12:30pm).
Despite the Tykes' residence at the bottom end of the table, Jerome understands there is still work to do.
“This has been a big week for us getting four points and putting it back into our hands to be where we want to be going into the last game of the season,” he added.
“There’s no way of sugar coating it, it’s there for us to take at home in front of our fans.
“It will be a big test, Barnsley have something to fight for still after winning today, but hopefully it’s a good game and we will be professional to get the job done.”