Midfielder Jason Knight believes Derby County have plenty of positives to build on as they prepare for life in League One in the 2022/23 campaign.

Derby spent the vast majority of the 2021/22 campaign in administration and battling to remain in the Championship, although their efforts would ultimately prove to be in vain.

A 21-point deduction, for entering administration and a historical breach of the EFL’s profitability and sustainability rules, left the Rams with a mountain to climb from the early months of the season.

Wayne Rooney’s side gave it everything they had to remain in the second tier, despite losing key players in January and transfer embargoes that meant that adding to the squad was not possible.

Their efforts earned widespread praise and despite being unable to avoid relegation, the campaign brought many special, and unique, moments as the Rams battled against the odds.

Home wins over promoted duo Fulham and AFC Bournemouth were notable scalps, while play-off bound Sheffield United were also beaten at Pride Park Stadium during the season.

Derby also had some notable moments on their travels too, with the standout memory being the sight of almost 4,000 Derby fans in the away end at Blackpool in their final away fixture of the season to witness a 2-0 victory.

It’s those positives, and the style of play and fighting spirit that Rooney and his coaching staff implemented on the squad over the course of the last year, that Knight believes the Rams can take forward.

Knight, speaking whilst on international duty at a pre-match press conference ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s Nations League meeting with Armenia on Saturday, said: “The season has been difficult and more so for the fans and the people around the city.

“For us, as players, what we could focus on was the playing aspect of things.

“It has been difficult, everyone knows that, but we’ve come together a lot as a group of players, staff and as a club.

“There are a lot of positives to take out of the season. I know it didn’t end how we wanted it to or hoped it would, but there are always positives and then (it is about) looking forward to next season.”

The Derby Academy graduate made his international debut against Finland in October 2020 and the 21-year-old has gone on to earn 11 caps to date.

He scored his first goal for his country in a 4-1 victory against Andorra in June 2021, whilst he has contributed three assists on the international stage.

Knight, who surpassed 100 appearances for Derby since making his debut in 2019 during the 2021/22 campaign, has played 119 times for the Rams in total and scored 11 goals.

He believes he has learned plenty from playing under Rooney, who enjoyed an illustrious playing career for club and country at the highest level.

“He showed a lot of calm in tough moments this year and with the situation he has been a real calm head,” Knight said. “That was reflected in the squad and some performances. I think I picked up a lot of things - he showed a real good character this year.”