Derby County full-back Max Lowe is adamant that the Rams have turned a positive corner ahead of hsoting Hull City in the Sky Bet Championship at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off).
Phillip Cocu’s side head into the game in good form, winning three and drawing two of their last five games in all competitions.
Back-to-back home wins and Emirates FA Cup progression has seen the atmosphere change around Pride Park and there has been a real buzz around the club after a positive start to 2020.
The arrival of Wayne Rooney has certainly helped to lift the spirits and heading into this weekend’s game against the Tigers, Lowe believes there is a real sense of confidence flowing through the squad.
“We want to try and use this run and keep it going for as long as possible,” he told RamsTV in his pre-match interview ahead of the game.
“I feel like the confidence is building within the squad, no matter who plays on a game day. That starts on Saturday against Hull City because we hope it will be a really good run now.”
The arrival of England and Manchester United legend Rooney, as well as key players returning from injury, has seen competition for places grow amongst the squad.
Tom Huddlestone and Matt Clarke have returned to the squad of late whilst Graeme Shinnie, George Evans and Mason Bennett aren’t far away from full fitness.
Whilst at left-back, Lowe continues to battle with Scott Malone for the starting jersey and the defender admitted he relishes the challenge.
“The changing room has dealt with the competition for places really well,” he said. “On the training field, everyone knows there is healthy competition but we are all pushing towards the same goal.
“In every position, there are places up for grabs. In training, we are all putting in maximum effort to try and get into the side on a Saturday.
“The gaffer can see that we are all trying to get into the team and we just want to make the choice for him as hard as it can be.
“I think it is obvious that it is getting hard for him now, which can only be seen as a positive.”
It’s been a very progressive season for 22-year-old Lowe, who has had to wait patiently for a consistent run in the Derby first team since breaking through from the Academy.
He spent last season out on loan at Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen and his form this campaign has been a shining light, but he is keen to remain grounded and continue the hard work he has already put in.
“I’ve not really looked back on things because we’ve got that many games coming up,” he admitted. “I don’t want to look back until the end of the season but within myself, I’m feeling really confident.
“I think that has shown on the pitch and I can only thank the lads, the gaffer and all the coaching staff. Curtis Davies has been quality with me and obviously Wayne Rooney has come in and lifted everyone’s performance so I feel like everyone can see that when I am playing, I am more confident.
"I don’t want to get too high or too low. When you have a bad performance but get the win, you have to be happy because the most important thing at the moment is picking up three points."