Tom Lawrence believes Derby County’s squad has ‘something special about it’ as they continue to defy the odds and battle against adversity.

Derby, who sit bottom of the Sky Bet Championship after having 21 points deducted from their 2021/22 season total, are continuing to fight tooth and nail to remain in the second tier despite facing an uphill battle.

A 12-point deduction for entering administration in September was followed by a further nine points in November for a historical breach of the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules.

Wayne Rooney’s side have fought valiantly all season despite the off-field issues and they once again demonstrated their fighting spirit in a thrilling 2-2 at Reading on Bank Holiday Monday.

Junior Hoilett’s double head the Rams 2-0 down going into the final five minutes, but Colin Kazim-Richards stepped off the bench to pull a goal back before Curtis Davies equalised in added time with a fine header.

The draw extended Derby’s unbeaten run to four matches in the league, picking up ten points from a possible 12, to put them 11 points adrift of safety with 21 matches remaining.

Lawrence has spoken of his pride to be part of the Rams’ dressing room, as well as the backing that the side are receiving from the club’s loyal supporters both home and away, and the evident togetherness on display.

“I thought we played some tremendous stuff throughout the game,” Lawrence told RamsTV after the draw at Reading. “We conceded two sloppy goals, but we didn’t let it faze us.

“I’ve said this before, but this team has got something special about it and I think we showed that today.

“We will never give in, the fans that were in the corner with us and, honestly, they spur us on every week and it’s a joy to play in front of them.”

He added: “We had won three on the bounce before this and to go 2-0 down, which was undeserved in my opinion, we had to dig in really deep and we showed what a team we are and how together we are. Especially the fans as well, we are all together in this.”

Lawrence, who turns 28 this month, was appointed as Derby’s captain in the summer by Rooney.

The 2017 signing from Leicester City says it is an honour to wear the armband and lead a side that, despite their league standing, are playing attractive and eye-catching football.

“I’m proud of every single one of them,” Lawrence said of his team-mates.

“I couldn’t be in a better changing room to captain this team. It’s an honour for me and we will do everything in our power to keep this club in the Championship.

“The main thing is that everyone is enjoying their football and everyone around the club is enjoying watching us.

“It makes it a better place. We’ve shown that it’s us against everyone and we will keep it that way because it’s working for us at the minute.”

Derby will take a brief break from their Championship campaign when they head to Coventry City in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday 8th January (12:30pm kick-off), before welcoming Sheffield United to Pride Park Stadium on Saturday 15th January (3pm kick-off) in their next league outing.