Colin Kazim-Richards has stressed that Derby County’s players are focussing on nothing other than the next game and not getting ahead of themselves.

Derby’s recent form in the Sky Bet Championship has seen them pick up three wins and a draw to lead to external talk of the side overturning a 21-point deduction and claw their way out of the relegation zone.

Inside the camp, however, Kazim-Richards has said the squad just need to take each game as it comes for the time being and not be distracted by any outside noise.

The feeling in the dressing room is one of positivity after three successive wins to see out 2021, while 2022 started with a thrilling 2-2 draw at Reading on Bank Holiday Monday after being 2-0 down going into the final five minutes.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle at Reading, Kazim-Richards said: “We have to take things day by day right now.

“Every game that we play in, we try to get the three points and we know they’re all big ones for us.

“We know what we need to do and that is what we need to focus on."

He added: “We can’t come out and say anything else, we need to keep our heads straight and carry on.”

Kazim-Richards, 35, suffered an achilles injury early in the campaign that ruled him out of action for just over two months.

After building up his fitness, he has come off the bench to score in three successive matches in a productive festive period for Wayne Rooney’s side.

The former Turkey international, like any player, wants to play his part from the off but knows that if he is selected on the bench that there is still a big part to play.

He said: “With the characters we have in the dressing room here, everyone wants to start matches and try to help the team in the situation we are in.

“For me, when I come on, I can only give a hundred per cent every time.

“In the last three matches I have been able to contribute after the lads that were named in the side managed to keep us in the games.”

Kazim-Richards, who joined Derby as a free agent early in the 2020/21 season, has scored 12 goals in 53 appearances in a Rams shirt.