Martyn Waghorn says everyone in Derby County’s squad is relishing the resumption of the Sky Bet Championship action this weekend after a three-month break in the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Derby will return to action on Saturday afternoon with a trip to Millwall (1pm kick-off).
Under the EFL’s strict guidelines, in line with UK Government rules, matches must be played behind-closed-doors.
Supporters will instead have the opportunity to watch Phillip Cocu’s side in action right through RamsTV’s Matchday Live stream.
Derby will restart their season with nine matches left to play and, sitting in 12th spot, they are five adrift of the play-off spots.
From their final nine fixtures, seven of the Rams’ opponents currently sit above them in the Championship table.
Waghorn believes those matches will provide good tests for Derby as they look to build on what has been a positive second half of the campaign so far.
Cocu’s side were inconsistent, both in terms of results and performances, in the opening months of the campaign but have displayed a vast improvement in the second half of the season.
Speaking to RamsTV ahead of the trip to Millwall, Waghorn is positive about the challenges that lie ahead for Derby in the next few weeks.
The 30-year-old striker said: “We want to finish as high as we possibly can, and we know what we are capable of as a team.
“We were in a good run of form before the break in the season, both in terms of results and the football we were playing.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been able to assess the situation a bit more and we know we have a good chance of where we need to be. It isn’t as easy as just saying it, as other teams will have the same objective.
“We have a lot of games coming up against teams above us, so it’s an opportunity try and get points off them. We want to be heading in the right direction and with the players we have, we should be up there and challenging.
“As a team, we need to push for that.”
Derby went into the unexpected break in the season following back-to-back league wins against Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers, scoring six goals in the process.
Those results saw them edge into the top half of the table and Waghorn is optimistic about the future.
Whether Derby can achieve a place in the play-offs for the third season in succession, only time will tell.
But no matter what, Waghorn is convinced Derby are moving in the right direction under Cocu.
“On our day we are capable of playing good football, as well as working hard, and we have a really good blend of youth and experience in the group,” he said.
“We need to build on the last few months before the break, as well as the time to reflect, and give ourselves the opportunity to kick on again and keep moving in the right direction.
“It’s an opportunity to test ourselves to see where we’re at. It’s a mini-season; we know anything can happen, so it’s down to us to take the chance we’ve got and push ourselves to go as far as we can.”
Don’t forget you can see Derby
County return to action at Millwall LIVE on RamsTV from
12:30pm on Saturday afternoon. Sign up to RamsTV and purchase your
streaming pass here: dcfc.co.uk/page/ramstv.