Frank Lampard has paid tribute to the club’s supporters ahead of a busy week of fixtures which will see the Rams travel to Ipswich Town in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday (7:45pm kick-off) and then Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup on Saturday (12:30pm kick-off).
Derby's supporters will travel around 700 miles this week to watch their side in action on the road.
The first of those journeys will see Lampard take his side to Portman Road to face Paul Lambert’s Tractor Boys.
Prior to that journey, Lampard had a message for the supporters.
“We have to appreciate it, I know the players do. The support against Hull City was great at the weekend and our away support is great and I appreciate it,” he told RamsTV.
“I’m very thankful because it’s not easy to travel those distances but they have passion for this club and we understand that and we want to repay them. I want to thank the fans in advance who do travel down and hopefully we will put on nice spectacles and send them home happy.”
What will make them happy, Lampard knows only too well, is three points in the Sky Bet Championship on Wednesday night.
Ipswich currently sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship and have only picked up three league victories this season.
Whilst the manager knows it will be a tough game against a team fighting for their lives, he has eyes on the play-off picture which is side just sit outside of at the moment.
“With the competitive nature of this league, if you want to push up towards the top six positions you have to get wins because other teams are winning and it’s difficult and competitive,” he said.
“We are on a nice run at the moment and the important thing is when you don’t play so well, like at Preston, we get a 0-0 draw, and then when you play well and are clinical, you get the win, like we did against Hull on Saturday.
“It’s good lessons for us on both sides of those games and we just have to focusing on ourselves. We know our squad now and we know what our aim is. We need to live and breathe it every day to prepare for the games in order to be successful.”
As well as wins, clean sheets are important.
The Rams have managed to record three successive shut outs in all competitions.
“We know that clean sheets are important for teams that get up and are successful,” the 40-year-old commented.
“That’s in all football but we know in the Championship what the numbers are. There is no exact science but we know we need clean sheets and we haven’t had enough. In recent games we have managed to get some so we must never be complacent because they’re not easy.
“You have to fight and defend across the team and we have managed to do that in the last couple of games which is good and we have to keep those good habits.”
Lampard has been boosted by news Jack Marriott and Tom Lawrence have returned to full training.
Two men who could also feature are January signings Ashley Cole and Andy King.
Both made their debuts in the 2-0 victory against Hull City on Saturday as late substitutes and the manager said: “We have two games away on the road and we will take a fairly big squad but when I feel they are match fit, if I can use them then I will do because they have huge experience and quality. It’s too early to tell for sure but they will be travelling with the squad.”