Frank Lampard was a happy man as Derby County began a tough week with a crucial 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday.
The Blades provided the first of a trio of opponents who are all in the top three places in the Sky Bet Championship and who will face the Rams this week, the three points gained by Lampard's men pushing them back into the top five.
And he was thrilled with the victory to get things up and running.
He said: "It was a great game and a huge win for us against a really good side.
"Sheffield United are a top team doing really well and with a good system that gave us problems, but I felt we deserved to win for lots of reasons.
"We were outstanding all round and it's an important win not just in terms of league position, but because we've not picked up enough points in recent weeks and to do it against such a good side was pleasing."
The Rams took the lead inside 20 seconds through Craig Bryson, who was later taken off injured, with Lampard happy that his side had got off to such a flyer.
He said: "I've been bemoaning us not starting quickly enough. I wasn't expecting to lead after 19 seconds but it was a really good goal, moving the ball from side to side really well, a good cross and knock back and then a great finish.
"It was a blow to lose Craig, who has a tight calf so we'll assess him ahead of West Brom. I went for a more attacking option in the middle with Harry Wilson as I didn't want to put a more defensive player on and potentially invite the pressure."
The Rams now head to West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, who currently sit third in the table, and then leaders Middlesbrough next weekend, with Lampard adding: "It was so important to get off to a winning start ahead of these games and have a good performance too."