Manager Frank Lampard has paid tribute to his three loan players heading into a crucial clash against fellow play-off chasers Bristol City on Saturday.
Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson have made a telling contribution to the Rams this season with central defender Tomori named the Jack Stamps Player of the Season at the End of Season Awards night on Tuesday.
The England Under-21 international, who has been a near-ever present this season, has impressed throughout this campaign with a number of dominant displays.
He has helped the Rams to 13 clean sheets in all competitions and Lampard praised the on-loan Chelsea player ahead of the clash against the Robins.
“He has had a fantastic season and he has grown since he has been here,” Lampard told RamsTV. “He has played regularly, pretty much every minute and that has been great for him. He deserves great credit for that.
“He has worked hard, he’s improved a lot of elements of his game and he has made a huge contribution to our season.
“We have had difficult injuries at the back in Curtis Davies, our club captain, and Craig Forsyth in the defensive area for long-term, so to have a young player come in with the responsibility needed to play that amount of games, I think he deserves all the accolades he is getting from inside the club.
“I just want him to continue now for the business end of the season.”
His fellow Chelsea team-mate, Mason Mount, has also made a telling contribution this season but has impressed on his return to the team following injury.
Mount was ruled out for two months with a hamstring injury he picked up against Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup in January, but made his return to the squad against Rotherham United at the end of March. Since his return, Mount has netted four goals and provided one assist.
“He is an important player for us and of course you are going to miss your important players and we felt that in February and March,” admitted Lampard.
“We had some really tough games, particularly away from home and it is when you call upon the attributes that Mason has on and off the ball which you have seen him do.
“It is massively helped having him back in the squad. He has come back hungry, come back ready to play and I think there is more from Mason, as there is all of the young players, so hopefully that can continue.”
Two goals from Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson against Queens Park Rangers put him onto 16 for the season, four ahead of Martyn Waghorn.
Wilson is another player to have benefited from prolonged game-time and Lampard has been pleased with his contribution.
“It’s a great goal return from Harry, no matter what way you look at it,” he said. “From the wing/midfield, those numbers are big, and I liked his attitude to take the penalty and step up in a difficult moment.
“That has been really good for him and Harry, as in all the young loan players, can improve elements of their game, but 16 goal is a serious contribution.
“We have needed that because we haven’t been flying with goals from centre-forwards, we haven’t got that 25-goal man and that isn’t a criticism of the front men, they have shared the goals anyway. The goals from midfield have helped and Harry has delivered.”