Morgan Whittaker has described Derby County as a club going in the right direction.

The striker was one of several Academy graduates to have stepped up from the club’s youth set-up to the first-team scene during the 2019/20 campaign.

Whittaker rounded off the season by scoring his first-ever professional goal in Derby’s 3-1 victory at Birmingham City on the final day of the campaign.

The England youth international enjoyed a positive breakthrough season under manager Phillip Cocu in 2019/20 and made 21 appearances in all competitions.

Whittaker, alongside the likes of fellow Academy graduates Max Bird, Louie Sibley, Jason Knight and Lee Buchanan, has enjoyed a memorable rise in the last 12 months.

From starring for the Under-18s and Under-23s, the striker is now considered a regular part of the first-team squad.

The 19-year-old believes the club’s philosophy, to give young talent the chance to shine, is a positive for all concerned.

Whittaker has also praised manager Phillip Cocu and his staff for giving himself, and other youngsters, the chance to make the step up from the Academy.

“I think everyone has got to be patient with what is happening,” Whittaker told RamsTV.

“To have a club that is bringing so many young ones through, and the young ones performing when we need to, is really positive and I think the club is going in the right direction.

“The manager and the coaches deserve a lot of credit for that because bringing the youngsters through is very rare these days and I think it’s the best thing that is happening.

“I think with so many coming through, we are all pushing each other each day in training.”

He added: “We are seeing what each other are doing and it drives you on to want to play every week and score as much as possible. I think the competition in the squad is healthy.”

Whittaker, from his 21 appearances, has made three starts at first-team level.