Derby County defender Richard Keogh has complimented the balance within the squad ahead of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.

The 32-year-old has led the side for the majority of the season and provides vast experience at the back to compliment the youth of Jayden Bogle and Fikayo Tomori.

In midfield, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson have grabbed the headlines and they have also been backed up by the experienced heads of Tom Huddlestone, Bradley Johnson and Craig Bryson.

It’s testament to the squad manager Frank Lampard has built in his first season in charge and Keogh believes the Rams should believe they have nothing to fear heading into the game against Dean Smith’s men.

“There have been a few of us that have experienced a final,” he told RamsTV. “Myself, Bradley Johnson, Curtis Davies, Tom Huddlestone, Craig Forsyth and Andre Wisdom has been there.

“There are a few of us who have been in this kind of game before then you have the gaffer who has not just played at Wembley but played in big, big games.

“Jody Morris, as well, has played in cup finals. I think these young players coming through are excited by it.

“When you are a young kid, this is the dream, this is what you want to do. If you can take yourself back to that moment when you are a kid coming through, it is the moment you have sacrificed so much for to get to.

“Naturally you are going to try and help certain players, but I think they are all ready for it.”

The central defender played the last time the Rams reached Wembley in the Play-Off Final back in 2014 and he is hoping for a successful ending this time around, after Derby tasted a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

“I just see it as another opportunity and an opportunity that we have worked so hard for,” he said.

“What happened last time, it was tough not just for me personally, but it was tough for everyone at the football club.

“We had had such a great season and we played so well on the day so how it ended wasn’t nice.

“Every player goes through difficult moments in their career, but every setback is a chance to get better and come back stronger, not just me individually, but as a team.

“It is just another great opportunity to try and get into the Premier League that me personally has worked so hard to achieve.”