Full back Ashley Cole felt a draw was a fair result against Birmingham City on Good Friday but admitted his side need to start picking up maximum points from games to earn a place in the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.
It was hot and humid at St Andrew’s which made for difficult conditions and the Rams had to come from behind twice to earn a share of the spoils.
Martyn Waghorn’s delicious lob cancelled out an early opener from the Blues before Michael Morrison put them back ahead.
However, the Rams would equalise for a second time with a far post header from captain Richard Keogh.
Cole’s ball into the box found the onrushing skipper who netted his second goal of the season. That was the 38-year-old’s first assist of the campaign and he was pleased to play a part in the finish.
“We have been practising our set plays and it came off today,” he told RamsTV. “We have to defend better from the set plays because without conceding those two goals like we did, we could have easily won the game.
“We are disappointed in terms of that and in the end, we put bodies in front of shots and did what we had to do.
“I saw Rich at the back post and thought I’d just lump it in there. It was a good cross and it was a great finish by Keogh.
“It was hot and with the way they play, it is long balls and you have to defend and get up the pitch. I’m used to it due to playing in Los Angeles but it was difficult conditions. The pitch was hard and dry so we are happy with a point.”
The point leaves the Rams three points outside the play-off places, but with a game in hand on Middlesbrough who occupy sixth position.
With the goal difference exactly the same on +9, Derby County are in control of the situation and should they win their remaining four games, they will find themselves amongst the end-of-season lottery.
“We’ll take it game by game now and we have to start winning matches,” Cole admitted. “Teams above us have hit form at the right time and we have another tough game on Monday so we will regroup and get ready for that.
“It’s another big game at home and we need to start winning games now.”
And what has Cole made of his first half season in the Championship? “It’s been good,” he replied.
“I definitely didn’t expect it to be as many long balls as this but I feel I have done alright in my first half season in the Championship but I hope we can perform from now on, start winning games and get into those play-offs.”