Assistant Manager Chris van der Weerden believes Derby County are making strides in the right direction.

Van der Weerden joined Derby’s coaching staff in the summer as manager Phillip Cocu’s number two, along with fellow Dutchman Twan Scheepers and Liam Rosenior who joined as Specialist First Team Coaches.

Cocu’s long-time right-hand man believes a period of adaptation and adjustment for the staff and players is now bearing fruit.

Derby are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions, their best run of the season so far, ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to take on Luton Town in their penultimate Sky Bet Championship fixture of January (7:45pm kick-off).

With an unbeaten run comes momentum and van der Weerden insists the Rams have to make sure they maintain their high standards.

Speaking to RamsTV, he said: “It is important to see the difference from when we came in.

“You have to adapt to each other as a staff amongst each other, the players to the staff and also to the club.

“Now we know and the players know what we ask from them and that is a good thing to see that there is change.

“Also in attitude and non-negotiables, it is all there now and you can see it with the results. We now have the momentum and we want to stay with it.”

Cocu and his coaching staff regularly hold individual sessions with Derby’s players, alongside their daily training sessions as a team.

van der Weerden is convinced that the hard work is paying off for individual players, as well as the team itself.

A willingness to learn is key and Derby’s assistant boss believes regular feedback and communication is also vital to aid players’ development.

He said: “The way we play is how we have done so for many years. We like to build up from the back and a lot of players, for instance Matt Clarke, he is not used to that in the beginning.

“Now we are working very hard with him on that and you can see his development. He is taking big steps in the things that we ask of him.

“I think it’s very important that you ask things from a player and how you can develop that in a short period.”

He added: “It’s important to sit down with them and let them know what they do well and improve by showing them with images of the game, we do a lot of individual stuff with them, and work on them in training sessions.

“You see some changes from the young guys who really like to learn and then you see the differences.”