Midfielder Liam Thompson is confident that he has adapted well to life in Derby County’s first team squad - and is aiming to keep the current unbeaten run going as attention turns to the Emirates FA Cup this weekend as the Rams face Coventry City at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
The Rams have won three and drawn one of their last four games in the league, which has seen them move on to 11 points in the Sky Bet Championship.
Three consecutive wins against Blackpool, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City saw the Rams end 2021 on a positive note, whilst Wayne Rooney’s side showed real character to earn a point against Reading to start 2022.
After trailing 2-0 with just over five minutes remaining, Derby managed to salvage a deserved draw as a goal from Colin Kazim-Richards, his third in as many games, and a bullet header from central defender Curtis Davies secured a point.
Thompson, who has impressed with how well he has adapted to life in the Championship, is learning every day and is delighted with how his time has gone so far.
“I’ve surprised myself more with the physical side because that is massive in the Championship,” he told RamsTV.
“I think the West Brom game epitomised that the most. They have big lads, like to play direct and that game showed a different side and I felt like I dealt with it well.
“I’ve certainly surprised myself in that part but playing on the floor, it’s just been second nature because you know you are coming up against people with a similar playing style.
“I’m surrounded by great players and that helps massively.”
The midfielder will be looking to continue his good form in Saturday’s cup clash against Coventry and he is more than accustomed to the competition following last year’s clash against National League North side Chorley.
After Derby’s first team squad were forced to self-isolate following an outbreak of COVID-19, the club’s Under-23s and Under-18s had to fulfil the fixture.
Pat Lyons’ side, which included Thompson, produced a spirited performance but ultimately fell short as they bowed out of the competition with a 2-0 loss.
But, 12 months on, the youngster has established himself in the first team and is now aiming to continue the club’s good form.
“We want to keep the run that we are on going,” he commented. “We are playing well, getting results and also putting in great performances, which is massive.
“Ultimately, as a squad, you just want to keep going. We are playing well, full of confidence so we are just looking to treat it as another game.
“We don’t change because it’s a cup game, we just want to get the win and keep winning.”