Max Bird has praised Derby County’s supporters for their ‘phenomenal’ backing in testing circumstances.
Derby’s Board of Directors issued a statement on Friday evening confirmed that the club, the ultimate holding company of the group, and all of the subsidiary companies have filed notices of intention to appoint administrators.
Less than 24 hours later, Derby’s players took the field in the Sky Bet Championship on an emotional-charged day at Pride Park Stadium against Stoke City.
Bird and defender Curtis Davies were on target in the first half as the Rams ran out 2-1 winners against the Potters.
The midfielder, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday, celebrated the day in style as his goal was the first of his professional career.
A graduate of the club’s Academy, Bird was delighted to play his part in a victory which he dedicated to the Rams’ loyal fanbase.
Speaking to RamsTV after the game, Bird said: “It was a great performance from the team and we knew everything that had gone in the last 24 hours had to be put to one side.
“The manager asked us to give a hundred per cent and every single player did that. We deserved the win today.
“It is out of our control what happens off the field, but what we can control is what we do on the pitch.
“Everyone is expecting us to go down from outside the club, but we’re just going out and playing our football. It was a massive, massive performance from everyone.
“We stuck together as a team, which we will continue to do, and we know that is what we are going to have to do during this difficult time.
“We need to just keep going, stick together as a team and try to get as many points as we can.”
He added: “The fans have been absolutely superb all season and they deserved that first home win of the season.
“We are going through a tricky time at the moment, but they’ve had our backs. They’ve been phenomenal and the fans have stuck with us.”
Bird has admitted that his first senior goal has come as a result of hours of hard work on the training ground.
He has spoken on several occasions about the need to add goals to his game and he was thrilled to see the fruits of his labour come to fruition.
He said: “I say it all the time have I have been working on finishing a lot after training.
“A lot of the credit goes to the coaches for the work they’ve put in with me and especially on my shooting.
“The ball came my way and maybe last season I’d have passed it out wide, but I thought it was worth having a go and luckily it went in.”
Derby return to Sky Bet Championship action next Saturday with a trip to Sheffield United (3pm kick-off).