Frank Lampard says hard work will be key to Derby County hopes

Frank Lampard takes his side to Birmingham on Friday.
Frank Lampard takes his side to Birmingham on Friday.

Derby County go into what could be a make or break Easter weekend in their play-off challenge with manager Frank Lampard expecting his players to work hard for their rewards.

The Rams go to Birmingham City on Good Friday before then hosting QPR on Easter Monday, looking to break back into the top six with the help of victories and other results going their way.

And Lampard, whilst pleased that his team are still in the running, is intent on it staying that way.

He told RamsTV: “We are in a good position and we are pleased to be competing for the play-offs.

“Most teams are fighting for something at the minute and even if teams are comfortable, like we saw against Blackburn, if they perform, we know how hard this league is, but we know the importance of getting maximum points.

“There is a focus about us as a group and it’s important that we maintain that and know that there are two big games coming.

“We know what we need to do, and we are in the fight for the play-offs but we have a lot of hard work to do. We are looking forward to it and it’s important we see it as a challenge in a good way.

“It’s five games with on opportunity to make the play-offs and make it a really successful year and I’m looking forward to it.”

Lampard is preparing to take his players to face a Birmingham side recently rocked by a nine-point deduction due to off-field matters.

He said: "They're a very good side and were it not for that deduction they'd probably be in with us trying to get a play-off place.

"There are going to be twists and turns, whether it’s our results or results around us, we can’t call them. It’s in our hands which is great, let’s be positive about it, but we must go game-by-game.

“It’s such a big weekend for us coming up. It’s two big games in the space of a few days and there are points on offer for us so we need to give it our everything.”