Midfielder Max Bird believes Derby County can build on their recent run of a positive results and claim their first win at home of the season against Steve Cooper's Swansea City on Wednesday evening (5:30pm kick-off).
Derby extended their unbeaten run to five matches on Saturday afternoon with a goalless draw against Stoke City at Pride Park Stadium but were left frustrated after dominating for large parts of the game.
The Sky Bet Championship encounter saw the Rams register 11 shots to Stoke’s four over the course of the 90 minutes, with five of those being on target - while goalkeeper David Marshall was uncalled upon to make a save for the entirety.
Despite the initial disappointment of not coming away with all three points, Derby kept their third consecutive clean sheet - a feat which pleased Bird.
"Obviously, we didn’t get off to the best start to the season, but we are building up our confidence and you can see it’s coming together," he told the University of Derby's Football Journalism students.
"Defensively we are getting better and now we need to start scoring goals and winning games. We believe we can beat anyone in this league no matter their position [in the table]. This league is so competitive, and it can change in just a couple of games."
Left-back Lee Buchanan echoed Bird's thoughts, stating: "As players we are confident. We are five unbeaten, but it will a difficult game.
"Swansea are a very good team and sit third from the top so it will be a difficult game. The position we are sat in at the minute does not reflect the quality of player we have so I think it will be a good game and hopefully we can get the win."
Wednesday's fixture offers a tough test against Steve Cooper's in-form Swans, but a challenge Bird believes they must overcome if they wish to climb up the standings.
"We’ve just got to take each game as it comes," he explained.
"I know it's a bit cliche but it's true. We can’t be thinking about games in a couple of months' time or games against teams in and around us. At the minute, we got to go into the next game and find a way to win, find a way to climb up the table and just keep going.
"If we keep building up our confidence, which we have been doing over the last couple of weeks, then we can definitely climb up the table.”
Following the clash with Swansea, Derby travel away to the AESSEAL New York Stadium on Saturday afternoon to face Rotherham United (3pm kick-off).
Words: Toby Noakes