Martyn Waghorn believes Saturday's 6-1 victory against Rotherham United at Pride Park Stadium sends out a message everyone in the Derby County squad.
The 29-year-old frontman netted a hat-trick against the Millers to move him on to 11 goals this season in all competitions.
With a number of players coming back into the squad from injury during the international break, the striker admitted that his team-mates need to be at the top of their game to stay in the squad as the Rams approach a key part of the Sky Bet Championship season.
“We have a big squad and everyone is vying to get into the starting line-up and onto the bench,” Waghorn told RamsTV. “A few of the lads missed out on Saturday and they will be bitterly disappointed, but it shows the quality in the team.
“It shows everyone has to be on it and work hard because there is always someone knocking on the door behind you to take your place so it’s good for everyone.
“We had that little break after the Stoke game a few weeks ago and since then, training has been right at it. It’s been hard, it’s been good, it’s been intense but the boys have loved it.”
Confidence is flowing inside the Derby County changing room as they prepare for the next test against Brentford next weekend.
“Brentford are a very good footballing side,” Waghorn said. “They play attractive football but that also gives us a chance to do what we do best which is press high, win the ball back high up the pitch and they leave opportunities for us.
“They did it here and we blew them away with a 15-20-minute spell which killed the game off when we won 3-1. We know what they are about but we are going to go there with confidence.”