Gary Rowett has no intentions of playing for a draw when Derby County head to Craven Cottage to face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final second leg.
Cameron Jerome’s first-half header secured a first leg lead for the Rams at Pride Park Stadium on Friday night.
The result means that a draw on the night in west London on Monday would be enough to take Derby through to the final, but Rowett doesn’t believe that a cautious approach will benefit his side.
He told RamsTV: “You have to approach the game as if it’s 0-0. You can’t try to just hang on to a lead, we have to go and win the game again, and that has to be our mentality.
“A draw will take us through, but I don’t think that you can play for a draw.
“We know that we will have to defend similarly well, because they are a good side, and you can see that they have the players to open you up.
“We have to be positive. We can’t go to sit back and defend for the whole evening, and we will make sure that our tactics give us a chance to do that.”
Key to Derby’s victory was the dominance that they displayed in individual duels, with Andre Wisdom keeping Ryan Sessegnon quiet throughout, whilst Curtis Davies restricted Aleksandar Mitrovic to limited sights of goal.
Rowett praised his experienced defensive unit, as well as the likes of Ikechi Anya, who returned as a substitute to add some much-needed energy to the side in the closing stages.
He said: “You look at those players and they have been there before. I felt that it was going to be important that Curtis dealt with [Aleksandar] Mitrovic, and he nullified his threat for the whole evening.
“With a player like that, who is so strong and can manipulate a defender into finding half-a-yard to shoot, Curtis made good decisions.
“Defensively, everybody played their part but on the evening, Curtis’ performance against Mitrovic was outstanding.
“At 60 minutes, we looked like we were running out of concentration, but we kept going and we got that back with 15 minutes to play.
“You are looking for some natural energy in that part of the game and Ikechi can play wing-back, left or right.
“When he came on left-wing, it gave us energy and some pace up the pitch, and we will need some of those options on Monday.”
Rowett is keen for his side not to get too far ahead of themselves as they prepare for a difficult night under the lights in the capital.
“Every other team in the play-offs are two games away from the Premier League. It doesn’t enter into our thoughts and we don’t think about the prize at the end,” he added.
“All you think about is the job, and you can’t focus on anything other than that.
“We are level-headed and we are down to earth, and we know what we have to do. It will be a tough task and we know that Fulham will probably still be the favourites.”