Duane Holmes was of the opinion that Derby County’s empathetic victory over Stoke City under the Pride Park Stadium floodlights on Friday evening had been on the horizon.
Derby ran out 4-0 winners against the Potters to record a fourth home win in a row thanks to goals from Martyn Waghorn, Chris Martin, Wayne Rooney and Jayden Bogle.
The win was the Rams’ biggest of the 2019/20 campaign so far and also the perfect reaction to the 3-2 defeat at Luton Town in midweek which ended their seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
Holmes played a key role in the victory, setting up Martin for Derby’s second goal and he earned the Sky Sports ‘Man of the Match’ award for his performance.
“We knew a performance like that was coming,” Holmes told Sky Sports after the game.
“We were really disappointed with the game on Tuesday night at Luton, so we knew we had to bounce back and we did that.”
The meeting with Stoke proved to be an emotional evening for Holmes.
The midfielder, along with the footballing world, was left stunned with the news of the sad passing of his former Huddersfield Town team-mate and friend Jordan Sinnott last weekend.
Sinnott, who was 25 and playing for non-league side Matlock Town, came through the youth ranks at Huddersfield Town with Holmes.
A minute’s applause was held in the 25th minute of the game against the Potters and Holmes also wore his own tribute under his match shirt.
“Anyone who knew Jordan knew what a special man he was,” he said.
“He would do anything for anyone and we are all going to miss him dearly.
“The response has been brilliant and that showed what sort of man he was, no-one had a bad word to say about him.”
Holmes, who turned 25 in November, has made 27 appearances in all competitions for Derby so far this season and found the back of the net on one occasion.