Duane Holmes couldn't hide his pride after putting in a fine display on his full Derby County debut last weekend
Holmes played in place of Mason Mount in the Rams midfield against Birmingham City on Saturday, his first start for the club since arriving from Scunthorpe United in the summer.
And he was pleased that his patience in waiting for his opportunity finally paid off.
He told RamsTV: “I was really happy to be starting the game and I knew that I had big shoes to fill with Mason playing so well and hopefully I did that.
“You always want to play, and I’ve had to bide my time and wait for my chance but that comes with the squad that we have got here. I knew that I would have to be patient when I signed here, and I have worked hard and thankfully it has paid off.
“We have been playing some really good stuff at the minute so that first half on Saturday against Birmingham was not up to what we’ve been doing recently.
“To come out after half time and perform in the second half it shows the character we have got in the dressing room because we all really wanted the win and we’re thankful that we got it.”
The Rams are now preparing for another big game this weekend as they host Aston Villa at Pride Park.
They'll be aiming to continue a good run of form that has seen them beat the likes of Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and then Birmingham.
Holmes said: "It will be nice to go into the international break unbeaten in the league from a really tough run of fixtures if you look back. We have done really well in the league and hopefully we can carry that on.
“We had a really tough week and got seven points out of nine, but probably should have got all nine. It shows we can go to a place like Middlesbrough and completely dominate the game. It shows what sort of a team we are. I feel like if we are on our game then we can give anyone a match.
“We were all a bit deflated after Middlesbrough because we played so well and dominated, especially the first half an hour. I was on the bench watching thinking ‘this is great to watch, this is what football should be like’.
“We have been playing great stuff, we needed that second goal to really cement the game. We were disappointed to get a point which shows how high we want to be.
“Every game is a big one in this division, but Aston Villa are a massive club with ambitions of getting promoted like ourselves. But we will go out there on Saturday and hopefully get the three points.”