Krystian Bielik was delighted to finally score his first goal for Derby County and end a turbulent year on a high note as the Rams recorded a 4-0 victory at Birmingham City to move out of the relegation zone.
The midfielder scored in the 15th minute as he reacted quickest following a goalkeeping error from a corner to net his first goal since joining from Arsenal in August 2019.
Further goals followed as Graeme Shinnie scored from the spot, whilst Colin Kazim-Richards netted at the back post to put Derby in complete control before half time.
That lead was extended with less than 15 minutes of the game remaining as Jason Knight capped off a superb evening for the Rams.
And Bielik couldn’t hide his delight at full time.
The Polish international midfielder has endured a tough season following a serious knee injury back in January, but he has fought back well and ended the calendar year positively.
“It is a great three points,” he told RamsTV. “I opened the goals today. I have been waiting for quite a long for this first goal so I am really happy for myself and the team. Finally we have got out from the bottom three so we will keep going and keep pushing.
“I am glad the goalkeeper made a mistake and I could use it to put the ball in the goal. I was really happy, I forgot that feeling, especially after a long break. It was an unbelievable game for the team and a good night for myself as well.
“When you look at our last five or six games, everyone has started on the front foot and that gives us that confidence and gives us time in the game to create chances.
“We felt that it was coming for the last few games and finally today we have scored four goals. I don’t remember the last game that we scored that many. We keep pushing with another game at Sheffield Wednesday in three days and we hope we can do this again.
“It is good to be back and I am really happy to get another 90 minutes under my belt. I think my body feels well too, my knee recovered quicker than planned and I just can’t wait for another game.
“When you don’t play for ten months, there are never too many games for you. I am really happy I am fit and I can help the team getting more points.”
The Rams were clinical and ruthless in front of goal against the Blues.
It could even have been more as Louie Sibley was denied on two occasions and Matt Clarke had a header saved, whilst at the other end Derby recorded their fifth clean sheet in six.
They were beaten 1-0 by Preston on Saturday at Pride Park Stadium but Bielik felt that result spurred the side on to victory against Birmingham.
“It was really disappointing, we were down to ten men since the 20th minute and we did a great job,” he said. “We didn’t deserve to concede that goal in the last minute. Tonight, nothing changed.
“We spoke in the dressing room with the manager and staff and said we will keep pushing. We came to Birmingham for three points, no less. We had a plan, we did our job on the pitch and we deserved three points today.
“Everyone who watched the game today could see that we didn’t deserve to be that low on the table and I hope we can climb up now game by game, because we deserve it.”