Striker Jack Marriott has endured a frustrated period on the treatment table in recent weeks but is is now back in action and has his sights set on helping Derby County climb the Sky Bet Championship table.
The 24-year-old striker, who suffered with an illness as well as an ankle injury, made his comeback on Saturday as he played the second half of the FA Cup tie against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Marriott had been missing since the 2-1 home victory against Reading at Pride Park Stadium in January but is determined to make an impact after making his comeback.
“It’s relief more than anything to get back out there and help the lads as best as possible,” Marriott told RamsTV. “It’s frustrating sitting in the stands and any footballer would say that.
“It’s not enjoyable watching. When we are winning it’s great but if we are not and you are sat in the stand, you’re injured and you’re not training, then it is not nice. You want to be out there every day.
“The mood is positive. We have just got to give it our all. We have got 15 games to make a push. We have got the quality, experience and youthfulness in the dressing room and I think that bodes well.”
Whilst the Rams have now exited the FA Cup, the striker believes his teammates can take great confidence from their runs in both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup heading into the latter stages of the season.
“We have had a couple of decent cup runs,” he said. “Away at Old Trafford, away at Chelsea, we didn’t do ourselves any harm in those games, especially in the United one, and we put in a good performance at Chelsea as well. We were unlucky to lose that game.
“We played Southampton over two ties and to beat another Premier League team was great. I think that shows where we are as a squad because we are competing with those sorts of teams.
“I think we have only got to take the positives from that and we have to take that into the final 15 games of the season.”
Those 15 games start tomorrow evening as Millwall are the visitors to Pride Park Stadium.
Whilst the Lions are sitting just above the drop zone in the table, they are fighting for their survival and Marriott knows it won’t be straight forward.
“It will be a tough game,” he commented. “They are a big physical team. I was on the bench at their place and they are a tough team. They are good at what they do.
“You may say they are struggling but they are constantly fighting, they press, they work hard and they are good at what they do but we have got to be prepared for it.”