Curtis Davies felt Derby County’s never-say-die attitude once again came to the fore as they stormed back from 2-0 down to claim a point at Reading on Bank Holiday Monday.
Goals either side of half-time from Junior Hoilett put the hosts in control and on course for all three points in Berkshire.
However, Wayne Rooney’s side scored twice in the dying stages to claim a 2-2 draw and extend their unbeaten run to four matches in the Sky Bet Championship.
Substitute Colin Kazim-Richards netted from close range with four minutes remaining before Davies, thrown forward late on from the back, superbly headed home Nathan Byrne’s right-wing cross.
Davies, 36, has played every minute for Derby in the Championship this term and he was delighted to help the side claim a share of the spoils.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle, Davies said: “I thought we dominated the game from start to finish really.
“We went 1-0 down and then got hit with a sucker punch for the second goal immediately after the break, so you start to think it’s going to be ‘one of those days’ for us again.
“To be fair, we were playing well and we just kept going. Colin Kazim-Richards came on up top to offer a bit of experience and know-how and we managed to get one back through him.
“I think they started to get a bit tired and wobble a little and after that we managed to get the second, which was great.”
Derby have been battling against adversity all season on the pitch and Davies believes the experienced members of the squad have been vital.
The Rams are battling against relegation after being deducted 21 points from their season total after entering administration in September and historically breaching the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.
In the most challenges of circumstances, Davies says the older heads have had a key role to play.
“When you’ve got a squad like the one we have right now, experience is vital,” he said.
“We’ve got a few of the older heads in the squad like myself, Richard Stearman, Phil Jagielka and Colin, then one or two in and around 27 or 28 and after that the rest are 21 and under.
“It is important for myself and the other experienced players in the dressing room to keep things balanced and, regardless of the result and performance, we look to bounce to the next game and be better.”
Since joining Derby from Hull City in the summer of 2017, Davies has recorded 129 appearances in a Rams shirt across four and a half seasons.