Striker Colin Kazim-Richards was pleased to mark signing a fresh new one-year contract with the goal that secured Derby County a point against neighbours Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands Derby on Friday night.
The Rams' striker scored an 84th minute equaliser, rifling home from 20 yards after the ball sat up nicely for him on the edge of the box to level the scoreline at 1-1.
It was a goal which the 34-year-old admitted came against the run of play, but it was a reward for staying in the game for as long as they did.
Manchester United loanee James Garner had given Forest a first half lead, but Kazim-Richards’ goal with less than 10 minutes remaining ensured the Sky Bet Championship fixture ended in a draw.
Kazim-Rihards,who signed a new contract ahead of the game, was pleased to score but admitted he would have forgone that to earn all three points.
“I would rather have not scored and took the three points to be honest but I am happy that we stayed with it,” he told RamsTV.
“I thought we were the better team in the first half. We just had a bad patch and we made a mistake and let them get an easy goal, but in the second half we did well to stay in the game. Luckily I was able to score with that strike.
“I thought we weren’t good enough in the second half but if you said that three months ago, we would have probably lost that game. It shows the character and belief that the coaching staff have put into us and it shows our mentality now.
“I think that’s what we should take away from this and go on to bigger and better things. We can always look at the negatives but if I’m being honest, we would have lost that game three months ago just for the way that we were in the second half because we were not good enough.
“To stay in it and then to come away with a point, I know it’s a derby game and it’s a massive derby game, and believe me, I wanted the three points, but hindsight is a beautiful thing because there are a lot of games coming up and we are happy with a point.
“We all want to beat our rivals but in the long run, that point could prove to be a lot.”
Whilst Derby may not have been at their free-flowing best in the second half, they managed to stay in the game and when presented with an opportunity, they took it.
“If you look 30 minutes in, we looked a very good team but the game is 90 minutes,” Kazim-Richards said. “A game is of certain moments and you have to take those moments but we wasn’t able to capitalise on our beautiful play but we stayed in it.
“That’s the main thing that the staff have put into us, that we are good players and we can stay in games, push in games, play at our tempo so that’s what we can take away from it.”