Martyn Waghorn said the way Derby County “dug in” until the end to steal all three points from Hull City showed the Rams’ “winning mentality".
Waghorn confidently put Derby ahead in the first-half, putting away a penalty as coolly as he did with his superb finish that opened the scoring on Tuesday night against the same opponent.
Hull, who made nine changes to the midweek starting XI had a valiant effort in the second-half against the side that had dominated. Todd Kane levelled the score, but the Rams fought to the end to find a winner.
Mason Bennett had just come off the bench when he provided Florian Jozefzoon with the ball to fire Derby to their fourth consecutive victory. Waghorn said the squad’s refusal to be content with a draw shows the philosophy that has been instilled by Frank Lampard.
“Today’s result showed what we are all about - a bit of team spirit. We had to dig in Tuesday night and we knew it was going to be a different game today,” he told RamsTV following the game.
“I think we showed another side of what we have got in the strength and depth in the team. This is what this league is all about, you come to these places, never two games the same and we dug in right to the end and got the results.
“It’s what the gaffer has instilled into us. Mason came on and did brilliantly. We showed fantastic character going to the very end in a difficult game.
“It could have easily gone the other way, but we dug in. It shows the winning mentality that we do have, and we need to carry that on now.”
The 28-year-old forward has moved out to the right-wing in the past two games to compliment Jack Marriott in the Carabao Cup clash and David Nugent in the Sky Bet Championship fixture. Though he admits he is still finding his feet in the position, Waghorn has proved his versatility and knack for finding the goal with two in two matches.
Wherever he is on the pitch, Waghorn’s mentality is the same.
“I’ve played their before in the past, I’m still finding my feet, but part of the job is doing your bit for the team and hopefully I do that wherever I play.
“I give 100 per cent, whether that’s right-wing or striker, I’ll give my best for the squad.”
Waghorn isn’t the only player to step in and make his mark in Lampard’s side that is full of depth. Jozefzoon has shown he can handle the pressure with his 88th minute winner, whilst Scott Malone has returned from injury to force his way back into the starting XI. Bennett has proved again and again his ability to change the game off the bench,
The depth is something Waghorn believes is a sign of a successful team, and one he is proud to be a part of.
“There are going to be changes if you are going to have a successful squad,” he said.
“If you look at all the big teams over the years I think they all have big squads, when people come in they are called upon.
“It shows the quality that we do have when you see some disappointed faces. It shows how together we are with the boys coming in and doing their jobs. It’s great to be part of a successful team.”