Striker James Collins was understandably ‘delighted’ to achieve a sixth EFL promotion with Derby County on Saturday.

Collins, who scored his 200th career goal earlier in the season, bagged the Rams’ final goal of the 2023/24 Sky Bet League One season in the 2-0 home victory over Carlisle United to seal automatic promotion back to the Championship.

The goal the experienced frontman’s 19th of the season in all competitions and his first since returning ahead of schedule from a knee injury which he sustained in February.

In achieving promotion, Derby, led by Head Coach Paul Warne, have set two club records for the most points in a league campaign and the number of away wins in a single season.

Despite that, Collins says it hasn’t been easy to get over the line in the race for promotion and says the team’s resilience, mentally and physically, has been crucial in keeping their nerve in tough moments.

Speaking to RamsTV, Collins said: “We are delighted to get over the line.

“It has been a hard season, as we were expected from the very start to go up.

“We had some bumps along the way, but this team is made of absolute steel.

“It is an amazing feeling and I got caught in the pitch invasion; there were headlocks everywhere and all sorts!

“The fans have been through a lot in the last few years, so they deserve it.”

He added: “Since coming back from my injury I have been desperate to score and contribute to the team.

“It is another promotion for me, my sixth now, and this year has taken its toll both mentally and physically after we missed out on the play-offs last year.”