Striker Jack Marriott was delighted to be back out on the pitch following a recent spell of niggling injuries in the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at Pride Park Stadium.
The striker started his first league game of the season for the Rams this afternoon and last 77 minutes before he was replaced by Mason Bennett.
Marriott, who missed the majority of pre-season due to injury, was happy to be back out on the pitch and get more match minutes under his belt.
He came off the bench to score in the 2-1 defeat to Bristol City in midweek before earning his first league start of the campaign against the Baggies.
“It’s good to be back in the starting line-up,” he told RamsTV. “It has been difficult in recent weeks because I’ve picked up little niggles but today was a good starting point and it was good to be back out there.
“You have to play catch up a little bit, especially with pre-season being so short this season because of the extended season last year. It was difficult now but I’m back up to fitness now and I’m feeling good.
“I want to play every game but at times it’s sensible not to if you are holding a little niggle. It could be wise to ease back in rather than throw yourself back in and be out for longer so it’s a managing period of time and hopefully we can get it right.”
The Rams started the game against Albion well, scoring in the opening five minutes of the game from the penalty spot through Martyn Waghorn after he was fouled in the box.
Later in the first half, Derby were awarded another penalty but this time Waghorn’s spot kick was well saved by the visiting goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
“The boys are all behind Waggy,” admitted Marriott. “He is our penalty taker and we trust him. He has put it right in the corner and the goalkeeper has made a great save so there is nothing wrong with that.
“Penalties get saved and he worked tirelessly today, as did all the lads and I thought he was excellent so we have no issues.
“It is always hard to defend a lead for so long and unfortunately we gave a penalty away late on in the game. It’s a shame we couldn’t put another one or two away and see the game off.”
The striker got off the mark in midweek against Bristol City as he fired an effort into the top corner on the turn.
Whilst that only turned out to be a consolation goal, he was pleased open his account for the season.
“It builds confidence moving forward,” he said. “To get off the mark is good because there isn’t a dark cloud hanging over your head all season.
“I’m off the mark and it’s a shame we didn’t pick up three points today.”