David Nugent said you 'can’t describe the pure determination' of Derby County's players as they fought back against Leeds United to secure their place in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final at Wembley.
The striker was in the away stand with other players for the Semi-Final Second Leg on Wednesday, cheering on the team after sustaining an injury in the First Leg last Saturday.
Nugent admitted he couldn’t put into words the incredible determination his team=mates showed at Elland Road to fight back from going two goals behind on aggregate in the first.
He had special praise for his fellow forward Jack Marriott, who scored with his first touch of the game, just 33 seconds after replacing Duane Holmes towards the end of the first half.
Marriott also scored the winning goal after strrikes by Mason Mount and Harry Wilson early in the second half.
“You can’t describe it. It’s pure determination and not wanting to give up. What a game and it was a great performance from the lads,” Nugent said.
“When we went two goals behind, everyone was expecting Leeds to go on and score three or four goals. Everyone was writing us off, but we changed formation and they didn’t know how to deal with it.
“Jack came on and was superb, scored with his first touch and changed the game for us.
“To come back and go 3-1 up and them to equalise again and then Jack is cool as a cucumber in front of goal again. We are all buzzing.”
The 34-year-old admitted he is unlikely to be ready in time for the final after sustaining a knee injury, but he can’t wait to see the Rams in action and is confident they can get the result to get them to where they want to be.
Nugent knows it will be a tough test against Aston Villa, who have beaten Derby twice in the regular league season.
However, he explained that the Rams had the underdog status against Leeds and they will against Villa, but as witnessed on Wednesday evening, anything can happen on the day.
“I got a bad knock in the First Leg, but I will be there cheering on the lads” he said.
“I can’t wait now. It’s Aston Villa in the Final and I think we owe them one for what happened last time when we lost 4-0 at Villa Park. We have a few formations to choose from so hopefully we can pull a surprise on the day and get into the Premier League.
“It’s two massive teams who deserve to be in the Premier League. Everyone was saying Leeds was the best team in the league, but we just beat them so there is no reason why we can’t beat Aston Villa at Wembley and get into the Premier League ourselves.”