Tom Lawrence said Derby County “dug deep” to earn a 2-1 season opener victory against Huddersfield Town.
The winger bagged a first-half brace to put the Rams comfortably ahead of the Terriers in their first game back in the Sky Bet Championship as the Rams pressed forward to start Phillip Cocu’s first competitive game in charge.
Karlan Grant pulled one goal back soon after converting from the penalty spot. The home side worked hard to find the equaliser in the second-half forcing Derby to test their defensive strengths at times, which proved to stand strong.
Lawrence praised the team’s performance on both sides of the ball and hope it will continue for the long campaign ahead.
“I thought the first-half we played some magnificent football which is what we have been working on,” Lawrence said following the final whistle.
“In the second-half we showed the grit in this team. We dug in deep and we stopped them from scoring.
“Everyone single person in the team put a shift in tonight and that is what we need to do for the rest of the season.”
A deadly five minutes from Derby’s No. 10 was enough to seal the victory at John Smith’s Stadium.
His first came after pressure by Martyn Waghorn forced Huddersfield’s keeper, Kamil Grabara to head the ball towards Lawrence. The Welshman took a touch before pinging the ball over the stopper and into the back of the net.
An impressive showing by Lawrence then saw him bag his second in the 27th minute. A short pass from Jayden Bogle met his feet on the edge of the box and after superb footwork, Lawrence rifled his left-footed effort past Grabara.
Lawrence admitted that he wants more goals and assists in the 2019/20 campaign and he is hoping to push on from here.
“I caught them both sweetly,” he explained. “I think my left-footed one was the better of the two, but I am just glad to get on the scoresheet and get the three points for the team.
“I knew the keeper was off the line and I just needed enough on it to beat the defenders too.
“For the second, ‘Boges’ passed it too me and I managed to get a nice left-footed strike on it. I caught it sweet and I knew as soon as it left my foot it was going in the back of the net.
“In my first two seasons here I scored a few [goals], but not enough. That put pressure on myself to score more, get more assists and that should help the team get the three points.”
The Rams don’t have to wait long to get back to action as they return to Pride Park Stadium for the first home game of the campaign to take on Swansea City and Lawrence is eager to pocket another three points.
“I am looking forward to getting back to Pride Park and hopefully we will get another win,” he said. “I think we have seven games this month and the first month is always a tough one so hopefully we can get some more points on the board.”