Jason Knight has labelled Derby County’s flying start as the driving force behind Tuesday night’s 4-0 thrashing of Birmingham City.

Derby scored two goals inside three minutes early on in the West Midlands as Krystian Bielik and Graeme Shinnie put them in control.

Colin Kazim-Richards added a third at the midway point of the half, while Knight netted the Rams’ fourth late on to round off another energetic performance from the Republic of Ireland international.

Knight, an ever-present in Derby’s side this season, was pleased to play his part in a victory - and impressive performance - to take the side out of the bottom three.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Knight said: “It was important to get the three points more than anything, but to follow it up with a good performance was really pleasing.

“We knew it was vital to start well, we had done it in the previous few games, so we wanted to do it again.

“The two goals early on was a healthy start in the game for us. Regardless of who we were playing, we knew it was important to get the win and now we can look forward to Friday’s game at Sheffield Wednesday.”

Wayne Rooney has led the coaching team for the last eight matches, while Derby wait to appoint a new permanent manager after Phillip Cocu left the club in November.

Knight is enjoying playing under the 35-year-old and the way which he has set up the side, with three wins and four draws recorded from his eight games making the key decisions.

“It is different under Wayne, it is more intense and we’re starting to see the fruits of that,” he said.

“Hopefully more results will come our way; it is a process and we’re just trying to keep that going right now.

“It has been a change for him in terms of going from a player to managing the team, but he’s still been the same and wants us to do the basics right and work hard for each other.”

Knight has made 23 appearances so far this season for Derby, scoring three times, as well as making his senior bow for the Republic of Ireland in October.