Scott Carson has praised his Derby County team-mates after keeping a clean sheet against a Wigan Athletic side that showed ‘plenty of heart’.

It was the first time since mid-September, in a goalless draw against Blackburn Rovers, that Derby County have kept a clean sheet as they defeated the Latics 1-0 at the DW Stadium to move up to fourth in the Sky Bet Championship table.

The Rams' shot-stopper was pleased with the squad’s first-half performance, but thought the Latics put up a good fight for the second 45 minutes as they pushed for a leveller despite being down to ten man following Kal Naismith's first-half red card.

The 33-year-old felt Wigan, where he spent two seasons before signing with the Rams, pushed the side all the way.

Speaking to RamsTV following the game, Carson said: “It was good to keep a clean sheet. Obviously today we scored one goal, so we needed a clean sheet.

“The first-half helped going down to ten men, but I think we maybe got a little lucky in the second-half and we didn’t play as well as we did in the first-half where I thought we were really good.

“The second-half we let them back into it and full credit to Wigan who showed a lot of heart and desire to put in a performance like that with ten men. Especially against our midfield and strikers.

“I thought they were really good today, I think they will be fine this season.”

Jack Marriott’s first-half header was the difference which he guided into the net following a cross by Jayden Bogle.

Carson has complete confidence in the striker’s ability in front of goal, and said it is a credit to the work he puts in that he has quickly settled into life in the Championship.

“He is a different class when he is in and around the box,” the goalkeeper said of Marriott.

“I think he has been brilliant already this season, his work-rate is unbelievable. We have seen it since the first day he came in, he only needs half a yard, he is a top-class finisher.”

The second consecutive victory sets up the East Midlands derby on Monday 17th December when the Rams take on Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium.

Following a 1-0 defeat to Preston North End at the City Ground, Forest now sit three points behind Derby which Carson believes will create an even tastier fixture.

He added: “It’s always a massive game and at the minute ourselves and Forest are pretty high in the table.

“So, it will be a really good game. We’ve seen them this season and they are a much-improved side."