Lee Buchanan is confident Derby County are moving in the right direction ahead of another busy week of Sky Bet Championship action.
Derby face back-to-back away fixtures at Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest inside four days.
First up is a trip to West Yorkshire to take on Huddersfield on Tuesday night, before making the short journey across the East Midlands to local rivals Forest on Friday evening.
Derby were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Watford on Friday in their first game since the October international break, which they went in to off the back of a hard-fought 1-0 success at Norwich City.
Buchanan believes the Rams’ performances against Norwich and Watford, two sides relegated from the Premier League last season, have provided encouraging signs moving forward.
“I think in the last two games we’ve been a lot better and not conceding in the first half,” Buchanan told RamsTV.
“We were a lot better than what we have been previously, against Norwich and Watford, so we have to take that into the Huddersfield game.
“We want to get a similar performance but get a result this time to try and get points on the board.”
He added: “The mood in the camp is really good and everyone is up for the game.
“We’ve got a healthy squad and players are coming back and fighting for positions so that’s always good.”
Academy graduate Buchanan has racked up five appearances so far this season in a Derby shirt.
The England Under-20 international has been deployed as a wing-back in recent games and it is a role he has enjoyed playing.
Manager Phillip Cocu has utilised a five-man defence in recent matches to display further flexibility in Derby’s set-up.
Discussing his new role, Buchanan said: “I enjoy it at wing-back. It’s a bit different to left back and your positioning is higher up, so you can get forward more and defend as well.
“I think I can do both, rather than if you’re just full back when it’s more defending first and going forward, whereas wing-back is a bit of both so I don’t mind it at all.
“With the players that we have got, I think it suits the team. We can play with a four, which we have seen, but with the five, I think you can see against Norwich and Watford that it suits us as another option.”
Buchanan, 19, has started Derby’s last three league games and added: “It’s good to start the season off in the team, but there are still a lot of games to go.
“I’m only young and I feel I have a lot more to give. We know we have got the talent as young players making the step-up, it’s just about putting in consistent performances for ourselves and the team.”