Derby County striker Martyn Waghorn believes the Rams are hitting a crucial stage of the season - and insists they are heading in the right direction.

The forward scored a late equaliser in the 1-1 draw against Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day as he fired home at the back post to ensure the Rams left the DW Stadium with a point.

And with fixtures against teams in and around the Rams at the moment coming up in the weeks ahead, Waghorn believes that the side have the chance to pick up some key points and start climbing the Sky Bet Championship table.

They face a home double-header against Charlton Athletic and Barnsley either side of the New Year this week to round off their festive games programme and the frontman is eyeing some positive results.

“The reality of the situation is we are in an area that we do not want to be in,” he admitted, speaking to RamsTV following Derby’s draw against Wigan.

“These games against teams in and around us are crucial and we can’t get away from that fact. We need to show bravery, attitude and commitment for the club because they are massive games.

“If we can get six points, two positive results, against Charlton and Barnsley in our next two games then it will be a big step in the direction we need.

“We need to be going forward into a good period of the season, if we put three or four runs together we can put ourselves in good position and assess things from there.

“We know the importance of these two games coming up. We will go away, recover and get ready for them because they are massive.”