Since Steve McClaren returned to Derby, there has been a special feeling around the city and the football club. McClaren played for Derby during the 1980's and was assistant manager to Jim Smith during the clubs most successful Premier League years in the 90's.
The head coach has said many times that as soon as he walked back through the door he felt it was the 'right fit,' and results since have certainly backed that up. The men around him, Paul Simpson and Eric Steele, also have experience of playing at Derby and the latter has also coached there previously.
But they would not have been able to enjoy the successes they are currently if it was not for the stabilising effect of previous manager Nigel Clough, and the emphasis placed on bringing players from the academy to the first team. Jeff Hendrick is one such player and he is reported to have said that he has never seen the team spirit at Derby so high.
What Derby have done well is keep a strong core of players who know each other well and added to it where they have needed to. It is obvious when they play together they play for each other and off each other, and that has only improved the fluid passing football that has developed.
The win at the weekend would have further improved team spirits. But it has been clear for a long time that the talent at the club has been enhanced by a sense of togetherness.
It is worth contrasting this with QPR, who sit below Derby on goal difference but have invested significantly and won, drawn and lost the same amount of games.
Maybe money isn't the be all and end all in modern football. Of course, investment will be needed should the Rams go up – but the foundation should remain and at the moment it's looking pretty solid.