Matchwinner Jamie Paterson praised Derby County’s supporters for playing their part in Saturday’s thrilling 3-2 home win against Birmingham City.
On-loan Bristol City attacker Paterson scored what turned out to be the winner in a pulsating game at Pride Park Stadium.
Paterson marked his first league start in a Derby shirt with a composed finish 16 minutes from time to secure the Rams’ first home win of the season.
Goals from Chris Martin and Martyn Waghorn had Derby 2-0 to the good just after half-time, but by the hour mark Birmingham were back on level terms.
Gary Gardner headed Birmingham's first from a corner before Croatia international Ivan Sunjic levelled with a strike from the edge of the box.
Goalkeeper Kelle Roos stepped up when Derby needed him most to save a penalty from Lukas Jutkiewicz, before Paterson grabbed the winner soon afterwards after being played clear by Jack Marriott.
The 28,454 attendance was the biggest at Pride Park so far this term and Paterson was quick to praise Derby’s fans for their backing following a difficult week for the club off the field.
Speaking to RamsTV, Paterson said: “The fans were behind us all game and they could see we were up for it and that we wanted to win for them after a tough week.
“It was a hard game out there and we were hanging on at the end, but we did show great character and especially after they equalised.
“For me personally it was good to get the winner but for the team it was a big week and it was a very good three points. It was a team effort from everyone, we had to stick together, and hopefully we can kick on now.
“I think we played well and deserved to be 2-0 up, but Birmingham are a very dangerous side and we let them back into it with two soft goals.”
He added: “What we did do is respond and the penalty save was the turning point really before we got the winner. It was a good feeling to score soon after and it felt like an important goal. Jack’s ball through was great and I managed to run into the space.
“My first touch wasn’t what I wanted but I was able to put the ball in the corner. It was a nice feeling to see it hit the back net.”
Next up for Derby is a trip up the M1 to face Barnsley at Oakwell on Wednesday night (7:45pm kick-off).
With Phillip Cocu’s side unbeaten in three and looking to build some momentum ahead of the October international break, Paterson says it’s time for the side to kick on.
He said: “It’s another difficult game for us and I’ve never had an easy game at Barnsley. It will be similar to what we faced on Saturday in the sense it’ll be a difficult one for us.
“If we can win our tackles, headers and battles then it’s up to us to make our quality shine through.
“With the players we’ve got and the belief we have, we need to kick on from the last few results.”