Curtis Davies has stressed the importance of Derby County keeping their unbeaten run going in the Sky Bet Championship ahead of another busy three-game week.
Derby will welcome Blackburn Rovers to Pride Park Stadium on Saturday as they look to maintain their unbeaten home record (3pm kick-off).
The Rams are one of only four teams yet to taste defeat on home territory this season in the division with Coventry City, West Bromwich Albion and AFC Bournemouth making up the quartet.
Wayne Rooney’s side have registered two wins and five draws in front of their own fans this term in the league and conceded just five goals in the process.
The clash with Blackburn will then be followed up by trips to Barnsley next Wednesday and Millwall next Saturday leading up to the November international break.
Derby sit bottom of the table after being deducted 12 points for entering administration last month and on the pitch the side are showing plenty of fight to drag themselves out of the bottom three.
Davies wants to reward the home supporters with a ‘big’ three points this weekend as they look to close the gap on the sides above them.
“We are unbeaten at home and we want it to continue,” Davies told RamsTV. “It comes from the lads, the comfort of being at home and the support that we have as a team.
“I don’t think you can put it into words because sometimes if it’s not going right, it can be a hard place to play at home because this club has expectations, but we are not at the right end of those expectations at the moment.
“To see us in the situation that we are in, the way that the situation off the pitch has brought the fans, the players, the staff and the whole city together, has become massive.
“We see the numbers that come to Pride Park and turn up away from home and we appreciate them and I think they appreciate us in the effort that we give.
“At the same time, we still want to get results. We value the support even if we are doing well or not but we want to get a big win at the weekend and push up that table again.”
He added: “It’s so important that fans turn up in their numbers and support us. You can see the difference in the fact that the way that the support is compared to previous years, the positivity that we’ve got has taken us to a different level and we are thankful for that and want to keep it going.”
Derby are unbeaten in five league matches going into Saturday’s game.
However, there is a tinge of disappointment in the dressing room that the Rams’ points return hasn’t been greater in recent weeks.
That’s due to the fact the side have picked up one win and four draws during that time, but Davies is remaining optimistic about Derby’s form and the future.
“We know that as long as it’s only 12 points that we have taken off us we have a chance,” Davies said. “We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, see those teams close to us and back ourselves to get two more wins than them over the next 32 games that are left.
“If there were to be more points then it might be a little bit difficult, but we have to be positive.
“At this stage of the season, you do want to turn these draws into wins but at the same time, they are still points on the board and if those teams around us are losing then at least we have gained a point, rather than going gung-ho and losing games.”
“We are still earning points and hopefully come the end of the season we are in a more comfortable position, but if we were to be in a situation where we need to go for it, I’m sure we will do that.”
Derby hosted an Open Training Session at Pride Park Stadium on Tuesday and almost 2,500 fans turned out to watch the squad get put through their paces by the coaching staff.
The squad engaged with supporters by posing for photographs and signing autographs and the 36-year-old believes the session will have given supporters a valuable insight into the squad’s preparations for matches.
“To be able to give something back to the fans is nice,” Davies said.
“They turn up in their numbers for home and away games, so to let them see us train and see what we do day in day out and working hard is good.
“Sometimes you are in the three-game weeks and people might not get a lot from us during that time but with a full week to train, Tuesday is always our ‘work day’.
“It was a two-hour session so at least they can see what goes on behind the scenes.”