Derby County Under-23s defender Ethan Wassall believes the Rams are raring to go ahead of tonight’s Premier League 2 - Division 1 fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion (7pm kick-off).

The Under-23s’ last action was over two weeks ago when they fell to a 3-1 away defeat at Arsenal before they endured another pause to their stop-start season.

The Under-23s have played nine league games this season and sit fourth in the table after winning five, drawing one and losing three.

A win this evening against Brighton could push Pat Lyons’ side up to top spot and Wassall knows it is a good opportunity. “We’ve had some good form in the league and hopefully on Monday we can continue that,” he told RamsTV.

Wassall did, however, go on to say that the form and their position in the table is not something to look too much into and that making sure that they perform on the day was the main target.

“We have got to look at it game by game; especially in this league where anything can happen in terms of teams dropping first-team players down and lads going with the first team,” Wassall said.

The last meeting between the Rams and Brighton saw Derby fall to a 4-1 loss last season and Wassall admitted that Derby will need to play to their strengths in order to record a positive result.

He added: “They’re a very good team, we know what they’re all about. They love to pass the ball, they love to switch it quickly so we know it won’t be an easy game at all.”

Kornell McDonald and Jack Stretton, who have shone in the Under-23s set up so far this season, recently made the step up and earned their first team debuts.

McDonald played the last 20 minutes of the goalless draw against Brentford whilst Jack Stretton has also made his debut and was unfortunate not to open his first team account during the 1-1 draw against Coventry City as he hit the crossbar.

“We’re delighted for them,” Wassall admitted. “They’re great lads, they work really hard and they deserve their chance.

“It shows what could happen for you if you put the work in and you perform on the day.”

The Under-23s will have their eyes firmly set on getting back to winning ways this evening as they look to put pressure on the teams above them with what will be three very important points.