Manager Frank Lampard praised his side’s character following the 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic at Pride Park Stadium this evening, which moves the Rams level on points with sixth-placed Bristol City.
Derby fell a goal behind midway through the first half after Gavin Massey struck against the run of play.
The Rams kept going but it took until the hour mark to get level after a stunning acrobatic effort from Mason Bennett shortly after coming off the bench.
The winner came with just over 10 minutes of the game remaining as Scott Malone netted his second goal of the season as he guided home a Jayden Bogle cross from close.
Following the game, the manager could not hide his delight and his side responded to a run of three straight league losses in impressive fashion.
“It was what the doctor ordered for everybody; the fans, players, staff and everyone here connected with the club,” he told RamsTV.
“We know it has been a difficult few games and there is a tendency here to react to these patches and what they might bring long-term and today was a moment where we absolutely fought. The players fought on the pitch with the backing of the fans from the first minute.
“We got the result we deserved, there is no doubt about it. The tempo we put in and the effort we put into that game means we deserved to win that match.
“The players have to put things like recent games behind them and they have to react in positive ways. I’m not surprised by the last two or three games being difficult, it is going to come in the season.
“What makes or breaks you and what shows your character as a group is how you come back from the difficult times. I thought the lads did brilliantly tonight.
“As a group, a Championship season is not all roses and it hasn’t been roses every week. The important thing is we stick together, work hard and you show that exhilaration when you have those moments.
“It’s what the fans want to see, what I want to see and they deserve that moment tonight.”
It has been stated in previous weeks that the Rams needed some good fortune.
Bennett certainly provided that with his goal and the manager praised the winger for his moment of magic.
“It was a fantastic goal from Mason,” Lampard said. “The way he has adjusted in the last second was great because not many people can score that goal.
“Only a very select few can make those last second adjustments and that is the ability he has got, and it will be brilliant for his confidence. He cares so much about this club, he is a local boy, he comes and he gives his absolute everything and that was a special goal by him.”
It was Malone who scored the winner which prompted great scenes amongst the players and fans.
“We try and get your full-backs into the game and I thought we were pushing later on in the game and when you do get full-backs into the box, and two holding midfielder as well to support from behind, you can get your joy,” Lampard explained.
“I am delighted for them. I am delighted for Jayden Bogle to get the assist, I thought he was very good today. He showed bravery and confidence on the ball to step in in the second-half. Credit to Scott Malone for being that high up the pitch.”
Three points moves the Rams level on points with Bristol City in the final play-off place, and the game was also special for Richard Keogh who received a great ovation from the supporters as he racked up his 600th appearnace in club football
“We needed the fans and I thought they were fantastic throughout,” he said. “I understand their frustrations in isolated moments, we are trying to play football here and it is much more difficult when you are 1-0 down through a counter-attacking goal.
“I think the players stayed brave and I appreciate the fans backing them as a group and I appreciate what they showed for Richard Keogh at the end. Their singing for Keogh at the end was massive. He is symbol of this club, 600 games is some achievement.
“It can’t end here, the lads deserve a little rest after this but we need to focus and bring the same to Sheffield Wednesday. We need to try and change this momentum, one game is not enough.”