Jamie Paterson believes there will be an added spring in the steps of Charlton Athletic as Derby County travel to The Valley on Saturday.
Lee Bowyer’s side gained promotion from Sky Bet League One via the play-offs last season as they beat Sunderland 2-1 in the Final at Wembley Stadium.
And the Addicks have started their new campaign positively. Prior to the first international break, they sat second in the table, two points behind leaders Swansea City.
However, their second set of fixtures saw them drop to 10th position, however, they still only sit four points off the top.
The Rams approach the game on a five-game unbeaten run, but Paterson is wary of Charlton's threats ahead of the trip south.
“They’re the toughest games,” he admitted, speaking to RamsTV on Thursday.
“Every time I’ve experienced teams who have got promoted, they run that extra mile. They go for every tackle and they don’t shirk out of nothing and they just want to win.
“I’m not saying that the other teams don’t want to, but they always have that little bit of a lift and they are always the toughest games, so you have to show them respect.
“Charlton have started well, and they are a big club as well. I’ve not played there for a couple of years; it’s a big stadium and I’m looking forward to it.
“No game is easy in this league. You can play bottom of the league and it be a really tough game or you can play top of the league and it can be a walk in the park.
“It’s a strange league so it’s about getting those points, no matter how they come. If you have three games in a week then the table can look completely different so it’s just about getting wins.
“Back to back wins are important and we have two wins and a draw in the last three so if we can follow that up with another win then it can creep us up the table.”
It’s set to be a good atmosphere at The Valley on Saturday as over 3,000 Derby supporters are expected to be in attendance.
Rams supporters will travel in their droves to support the players and Paterson is hoping to repay their loyalty.
“The fans are brilliant travellers,” he commented. “They fill in every seat and it makes a real difference when they are behind you.
“To take 3,000 there when it’s a good three and a half away is good. It should be a good game and a good atmosphere.”
Saturday is the first of three fixtures inside a week for the Rams.
After a trip to the Valley, Derby face Wigan Athletic at Pride Park Stadium next Wenesday and then travel to the KCOM Stadium to face Hull City next Saturday.
Paterson believes it’s a good opportunity to gain some points quickly and climb the table.
“It’s three games in a week and if we get nine points from that week then we will be sitting pretty in the league,” he said.
“At the same time, you can lose all three as well so you have to go into it, carry on the run we are on now and carry that unbeaten momentum and hopefully get as many points as we can.”