Gary Rowett felt that Derby County produced their best performance of the season to come from behind and beat Cardiff City 3-1 at Pride Park Stadium.
After trailing at the break, Derby were sensational in the second-half and two goals from Cameron Jerome, along with Matej Vydra’s 20th Sky Bet Championship goal of the season sealed a fantastic night under the lights.
Rowett was understandably delighted with the stunning turnaround, especially after falling behind in the inside the opening half an hour.
He told RamsTV: “It feels very good. It’s been a difficult period for us and it was difficult to lose three games on the spin, and I said to the players that we weren’t going to get a second chance after tonight.
“We wanted them to leave it all out there on the pitch and match our ability with desire, drive and endeavour.
“To concede early on was incredibly disappointing, it was one mistake but that’s all it takes against Cardiff.
“We were absolutely superb this evening. It’s the best that I’ve seen us play, both physically and technically, and tactically the players were spot on.
“Overall, we were brilliant tonight.”
Vydra’s landmark goal means that he is now only the second player to reach 20 in the league for the Rams in the past two decades.
Jerome ended a 12-game sequence without a goal with his stunning double, and Rowett was thrilled with the impact of his goalscorers in contrasting situations.
On the striker, he said: “He’s been patient and he’s found it hard with him not playing. The strikers have suffered a little bit since we haven’t been scoring freely.
“I felt the game would suit him, and he caused Bamba and Morrison problems all night, he was intelligent with his running.
“They were two great finishes as well, with the first one he shows great strength and for the third, he takes the game away from Cardiff.
On Vydra, he added: “It’s probably the first time for a while where we have had a real impact off the bench.
“With his pace, power and the explosive nature with which he plays, he thrives when the game opens up, and it was a wonderful finish.
“You know that if you give him that sort of time, he’s clinical.”
The Rams now have another huge test when they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa, but Rowett is optimistic.
“What we have done tonight is put it in our hands. It will be difficult at Villa Park but it will probably go down the last game of the season.
“We have to put the same sort of performance in, and if we do, we will cause any teams problems.”