Young full-back Max Lowe has admitted it has been a nerve-wracking experience watching Derby County from afar this season, but he will be at Wembley on Monday to support his team-mates in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.
On a personal note, it has been a good season for the 22-year-old. He made over 40 appearances for Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen whilst out on loan and helped them to a fourth-placed finish.
He won the Players’ Player of the Season for the Dons and his impressive performances have caught the eye of many north of the border.
He also made five appearances for the Rams this season and has seen first-hand the quality in the squad.
Derby face Aston Villa, who finished fifth in the Championship, on Monday with a place in the Premier League up for grabs and Lowe has been impressed with what he has seen from Frank Lampard’s side this season.
“Anything can happen in one game as we have seen against Leeds United,” he told dcfc.co.uk. “I was watching it and it was a crazy game.
“It was the best Derby performance I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen some good team performances over the years.
“It’s been nerve-wracking watching the boys from afar, but they have been unbelievable. Even throughout the season, there is always going to be ups and downs, but I’m buzzing for them.
“They have deserved it because they have worked hard. They have been tested with injuries, especially at the back, so it just shows how strong the squad is.
“A lot of people weren’t backing the lads to get the win over Leeds so why can’t they do it against Villa.”
A product of the Derby County Academy, Lowe joined the club at the age of 10 and has seen the club develop over the years.
A clear pathway has been created from the Academy to the first team and that is testament to the work behind-the-scenes.
It is a view that is shared by the defender.
“The changing room has come on loads since I first came into it,” he said. “There is a lot of younger lads in there now with Mason Mount, Harry Wilson, Jayden Bogle and the other players who are breaking through, and it’s nice to see.
“Mason Mount was great the other night, Jayden Bogle has been fantastic all season so it’s nice to see him doing well coming through the academy. Mason Bennett got a start and I thought he was quality as well.
“We also have leaders in the dressing room who were there when I first came in, such as Craig Bryson, Richard Keogh and Craig Forsyth, so it helps. It’s been easier for the younger players to build relationships with the experienced pros and you can see that on the pitch.
“Fikayo Tomori and Richard Keogh have been solid at the back and I wasn’t surprised that Fik picked up some awards because he has been quality this season. There is a lot of good young players in the squad and experience, and you need that in Play-Off runs.
“I will be going to the game, I was lucky enough to get tickets with my Dad, so I will be supporting the boys from the stands. I am backing them to get the win. Hopefully this is our year.”