Joe Ledley scored his first goal for Derby County at Pride Park Stadium in what he described a “vital” victory over Ipswich Town.
The Rams recorded a 2-0 win after a solid and controlled performance against the Tractor Boys.
The 31-year-old has been dependable in the Rams’ midfield since his arrival last summer but has had to wait for almost a year since his first goal for Derby in an away draw against Brentford.
In the Rams’ return to Pride Park after three games away, the ball dropped to Ledley outside the box. He struck sweetly after a quick adjustment on his feet to give Derby the lead after an hour.
“I just hit it as hard as I could luckily it took a deflection and went in,” the Welsh international explained to RamsTV.
“I will take those goals all day and it was my first one here at Pride Park as well so obviously I was excited for myself to get off the mark.”
“Ipswich are a good team, solid to break down. People are going to come here and defend for 90 minutes, at times you are just going to need that little bit of luck, that’s what happened with the goal.”
Less than 10 minutes later, it was his Wales teammate that doubled the lead and secured the victory. Ledley had high praise for Tom Lawrence who now has three goals in four league appearances to begin the campaign.
The winger guided his free-kick across the box with so much force, that the Tractor Boys’ keeper’s initial hand to it, wasn’t enough.
“Lozza has been vital for us this season,” said Ledley.
“He is a great player and as long as we keep him fit he will score more goals and create more chances for us. For me, he is our main guy, he can get us up the pitch and create things, so it was great to see him score.”
The three points for Derby came at a “vital” time for the Rams, following two defeats and Ledley has praised his team for their efforts.
Their defence held strong all game and denied Ipswich any opportunities to get a look-in and the Rams’ patience in sticking to their game plan paid off in style.
The Rams will now look to carry the winning momentum forward when they return on Saturday to face Preston North End.
“We needed that win. This league you can’t be getting a point here and a point there. You need to be getting the three points.
“We defended well as a team. Coming off two defeats we needed to defend and go from there.
“A clean sheet was vital for us, we managed that and hopefully we can kick on and see what happens on Saturday.”
“Preston at home will be another difficult game. They are a good team and it will be another battle.”