Derby County manager Frank Lampard believes the next few games will be crucial to the outcome of the Sky Bet Championship at the end of the season.

And the emphasis for Lampard is on the Rams picking up wins at all costs.

Derby have played some scintillating football this season so far and have picked up impressive victories.

Whilst performance levels have been high, the Rams find themselves just outside the play-off positions going into the latest round of fixtures.

They are heading into a busy period where the manager highlighted the need for three points.

“We are coming to a crucial part with lots of big games,” Lampard told RamsTV.

“We need wins ahead of performances really. Hopefully performance leads to a win but we do need to think that way.

“It gets competitive when it gets to a run in, and it’s a long run in, but you have to be very clinical about how you go about your business.

“We know every game is a different challenge and is tough, but we do want and need to put together wins.”

One team that have put a string of positive results together are tomorrow afternoon’s visitors to Pride Park Stadium, Hull City.

The Tigers sat second-from-bottom in November but a run of 10 games unbeaten, including seven wins has propelled the side to near the play-off positions.

“Hull who are in fantastic form, we know that,” he said.

“They have climbed up the table at a canter with lots of wins on the trot, then they lost, but then they won against last week against Stoke so we know it’s a tough game for us.

“They have real threats going forward and Jarrod Bowen is scoring a lot of goals. Their wingers are dangerous and are scoring and assisting so we know where their threats come from so we will have to be at our best.

“Bristol City have had recent form like Hull and if you do that and go on a run then you move up the table. To turn it around includes a lot of hard work so we have to give a lot of credit to Nigel Adkins and the team there, and the players.

“It was a difficult start to the season for many reasons but they have certainly got themselves together, playing fantastic football and winning on the road at places like Leeds and top teams.

“It shows how far they have come and they are a real danger to not just us, but to the top end of the table so fair play to them.

It will be eight days since the Rams were last in league action and the manager was happy to get a full week of training into his players following last Friday's 0-0 draw at Preston North End.

“It’s been good to work as a group and work on some tactical and physical stuff,” Lampard commented. “We know that’s not coming now in the next couple of weeks because we are playing two or three times a week so it’s been a good week to recover.

“We had a few bumps and bruises from Preston so they are out of the system now. We have worked hard and we are ready.”

However, the boss did admit he will be missing the services of Mason Mount and Jack Marriott this weekend.

“They are not ready for this weekend,” he said. “Mason has progressed a lot really quickly and he is generally a quick healer.

“He recovers well and is dedicated to the task of getting back into the team and is hungry so he’s ahead of schedule but not for this weekend.

“We need Jack fit but he’s got some pain in his foot and he needs to be fit. Jack is working towards that but it is important that we get him back soon.

“Every game is critical and I need to have a squad to pick from. We know Mason and Jack and others are important players, everyone is an important player, so hopefully they are pushing to be back as soon as possible.”