Craig Forsyth believes Derby County have set themselves a standard for the rest of the season following Friday night’s 4-0 home victory against Stoke City.
Martyn Waghorn, Chris Martin, Wayne Rooney and Jayden Bogle were on target as Phillip Cocu’s side recorded their biggest victory of the campaign to date in the Sky Bet Championship.
Derby also produced one of their best displays of the season and Forsyth felt the victory was the perfect way to bounce back from the 3-2 loss at Luton Town in midweek.
The defender admits the challenge moving forward is for the Rams, individually and as a team, to reach those high standards on a regular basis.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, Forsyth said: “It’s nice to see smiles on everyone’s faces, especially with the way we lost the game on Tuesday at Luton.
“We knew we had to react and we have set ourselves a standard with this performance and it’s about maintaining those both individually and as a team.
“There were words said after the Luton game and it was very clear that we weren’t happy as players and the staff weren’t happy too. It was up to us as players to take responsibility and make sure that we had a reaction against Stoke.”
He added: “It was a good all-round performance.”
Forsyth returned to the starting XI in the Championship for the first time since Boxing Day against Stoke.
With Max Lowe serving the first game of a three-match ban, Forsyth was preferred to Scott Malone at left-back.
Prior to the win over the Potters, all 11 of Forsyth’s appearances during the season had come at centre-back.
Forsyth played an important part in Derby keeping a clean sheet, while he also registered an assist for Waghorn’s opener with a cross into the box from out wide.
Reflecting on his return at left-back, he said: “I would say it (left-back) is my more natural position and where I feel more comfortable playing, although if the manager picks me at centre-back as well I’m confident I can do a job there too.
“Although it’s a bit heavier on the legs and the lungs, I managed to get through it and thought I did well.”
On his assist for the Rams’ first goal of the night, he said: “Something I feel is my strength is going forward and getting balls into the box.
“We worked on that in training this week; to make sure we get balls in the right area and get the runners in there and it paid off with the first goal.”