Captain Wayne Rooney believes Derby County have stepped up their game in recent weeks, which has culminated in them remaining unbeaten in all competitions in their last six games.
It’s been a good start to life at Pride Park Stadium for the Rams' skipper, who has been on a rich vein of form since officially penning his playing contract at the start of January.
Derby have won four and drawn two of their last six games in all competitions which represents the Rams’ best run so far this season.
Rooney has been at the heart of the action since his arrival, settling well into the side and has also been impressed with how the Rams have stepped up their game.
“For myself personally, it’s been good to get back on the pitch to try and help the team to win games and pick up results,” he told RamsTV.
“Overall, not just myself but as a team, we have stepped up. Performances have been better and results have been better, so we need to continue that.
“We have been a bit more organised and solid. We haven’t let as many goals in and during games there are important moments which we need to try and benefit from.
“That might be taking a chance and scoring a goal, digging in and staying solid, keeping a clean sheet and not letting the opposition score at vital times. We’ve done that well.”
Derby have a tricky FA Cup clash to overcome against Sky Bet League Two side Northampton Town tonight (8pm kick-off).
It’s a cup competition which holds special memories for Rooney, who won the competition with Manchester United in 2016.
Since his arrival, Rooney has played every minute for the Rams. He featured for the full 90 minutes as Derby beat Premier League side Crystal Palace 1-0 in the Third Round of the competition, whilst he’s also played the full game in Derby’s three Championship fixtures since his arrival.
It’s been a good introduction back into the English game for Rooney and if called upon tonight, he is fit and ready to play.
“My body is used to playing, whether that be Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Wednesday, for instance,” he said.
“The big thing is not the games, but it’s how I manage myself between the games and up to now it has been fine.
“The games have been tight so the manager has probably felt it better to leave me on the field. I want to play in every game and I am fine physically to do that.”
Derby County travel to the PTS Stadium to take on Northampton Town in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup tonight (8pm kick off).