It’s been a long road back to recovery for defender Craig Forsyth. who says he had to endure some tough times out of action, but after making his return from injury in Derby County's 1-0 win over Preston North End one thing is very clear - he is hungry for more.

Injuries are part and parcel of football, however, in Forsyth’s case, he has suffered a lot more than some.

In his career so far, he has sustained three ACL injuries which have ruled him out for more than three years. His last one was sustained 379 days ago in a 3-0 home defeat against Aston Villa last November.

Surgeries, long hours in the gym and training on his own all led to this moment this afternoon as he was handed his first start of the season by manager Phillip Cocu.

“It has certainly been a long time,” he told RamsTV. “It was a long road back third time around and I feel like I’ve missed a lot of football over the last few years so it’s about getting back out there and making up for lost time.

“Having been through it before, I know that you have got to take your time and rush these things. I came back at the start of the season a few years ago but I still didn’t feel right and I was back out for six weeks.

“I worked on my sharpness and I made sure I was ready this time. I played a few Under-23s games and I enjoyed them and they definitely helped me come back in better shape.

“It’s just good to be back. It was a long road and to be back out there today has made that long road worthwhile.”

The defender would put in a Man of the Match display as he helped the Rams record a win and clean sheet against Preston.

Martyn Waghorn’s goal just after the half hour mark was enough for Derby to move up to 10th in the Sky Bet Championship table.

“We knew what Preston was going to be,” he said. “We knew they were going to be direct.

“We had the better of it in the first half and were on top, but we dropped a bit in the second half and we were pinned in but we still had chances on the break.

“They are a dangerous team and they score goals this season so to keep a clean sheet against them is a big one for us.

“We needed that second goal to kill it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get it but we managed to see it out thankfully.”