Manager Frank Lampard felt his side made hard work of the 2-1 win over Reading - but felt they thoroughly deserved the three points.
The Rams created chance after chance in the opening 45 minutes of the match, but only found themselves two goals to the good.
Duane Holmes opened the scoring early on before Harry Wilson doubled the lead just before half-time.
Reading managed to pull a goal back on 66 minutes through Sone Aluko but, despite a nervy ending, the Rams held on to gain a valuable three points to further cement their place in the Sky Bet Championship's top six.
“We made it slightly hard work because we should have been clear in the game,” Lampard told RamsTV.
“In the opening part of the game we played some really good football and had some really nice passages of play.
“We created more than chances to go two or three goals up in the opening 15 minutes. When you don’t take them, you make things hard for yourself and 2-0 at half time is a dangerous result.
“If they score, like they did, then you come under pressure. I thought we played really well and we deserved to win the game for sure. We created enough chances to win but it’s obviously a nervous ending when you only have the one goal advantage.
“The end of the game was difficult and tough and no wonder because we played 120 minutes in midweek at Southampton and had a long journey back. Three days later we’ve had to play again and a lot of players are playing 90 minutes once more.
“It’s understandable that there was some tiredness at the end of the game but it was great to see the game through. It’s been a big week for us and they deserve a bit of a rest now.
“We know we have come through a tough batch of games where it was hard to pick up points. I don’t think we played particularly badly in those games but it’s just been difficult.
“A game like today, at home, we wanted to win it, it keeps us in sixth position, closes the gap on a couple of others who didn’t get three points today so it’s good for our confidence and we just have to be focused now. This patch coming up now is going to be absolutely crucial to how we end up.”
The first goal in particular was something which delighted the manager.
“Harry Wilson’s pass and Duane Holmes’ run was incredible,” he admitted. “That little angled run was perfect and it was a really good goal to watch.
“After that, Jack Marriott has a couple of good chances back-to-back. We were controlling the ball and at that point we had to be more clinical.
“Our choice of pass was really good in the first 25 minutes and then it came off after that. For the goal it was good and when Harry gets in that range, you normally expect him to strike it cleanly.
“He deserves his luck with the deflection because he is playing well and when you shoot, he knows that opportunities go in for you.
“We did enough in the game to win it against a Reading team who are playing well with a new manager and I think it’s a big win.”