Midfielder Jason Knight says Derby County’s players are determined to put on a show for their large away following at Blackpool this weekend.
Derby will make the journey to Bloomfield Road for their final away fixture of the 2021/22 Sky Bet Championship season on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).
Wayne Rooney’s side will be backed by almost 4,000 fans for the meeting with the Tangerines, with the Derby faithful quickly snapping up their entire ticket allocation.
Despite a tough season on the field, ending in relegation because of being deducted 21 points for entering administration and a historical breach of profitability and sustainability rules, there have been plenty of positives to take away from the season.
Rooney galvanised his squad to put up an incredible fight to try and retain their Championship status and while it was a challenge that was just too big, the Rams have earned plaudits for their performances.
The unity displayed between the players, staff and supporters has been an overwhelming positive throughout the campaign and Knight believes the Derby fans have played a massive role throughout the season.
Knight told RamsTV: “The season has had ups and downs and while I know there’s disappointment with us being relegated, I think there’s a lot of pride around the place too.
“We’ve seen the unity with the staff and the players with a tight-knit group, which shows in our performances, and that’s great to see, while I have mention the fans and how amazing they’ve been.
“I haven’t seen anything like it since I have been at the club, and they’ve always been great during that time anyway.
“They’ve really stood out this year and been strong and right behind us. They’ve pushed us over the line in a few games, which I think is important that they know that, because there have been games where we’ve maybe not played well but nicked a late goal to get a point or three.
“We’re taking 4,000 supporters to Blackpool on Saturday and that really is amazing. We want to go and perform for the and get a good result as well for them.”
He added: “It has been a difficult season, for us all, but now we want to finish as strongly as we can.”
Derby have one of the best home records in the Championship this season, amassing 40 points from 22 matches so far.
In front of the home faithful, they’ve registered some excellent wins and memorable moments at Pride Park Stadium.
On the road, however, the Rams haven’t been as productive with just two wins and six draws registered from 22 away trips.
Knight says Derby’s players know the importance of addressing their away form when they head to Blackpool.
“We’ve got some big results at Pride Park this year, with the fans right behind us and with some big crowds, but not so much on our travels,” he said.
“We want to give the fans something to shout about and be proud of, while as players for our personal pride we want to turn the away form around and demand a good performance and result from ourselves.
“While we haven’t achieved what we wanted to in terms of staying in the Championship, we’ve come a long way as a group of players and a club with the fans playing a big part in that.”
Republic of Ireland international midfielder Knight, 21, has racked up 117 appearances and scored 11 times for Derby since making his senior bow in August 2019.