Having been out of action since the end of August, the Northern Irishman’s 73rd-minute return to the starting line up could not have gone better. Having netted the equaliser to draw Derby level after nine minutes, he then laid on for Will Hughes to take the lead, before closing off his game with his second just over 10 minutes before his withdrawal.
Despite Blackburn netting a second late in the game, and increasing pressure on the Rams for the final minutes, Derby held firm, and Ward was delighted that his teammates claimed the result - their first win at Ewood Park since 2001.
Speaking to the official Rams website, Ward said: “It wasn’t anybody’s fault for their goal in the first minute. I think it was just an individual error, in the last 10 minutes we were 3-2 up and they just bombarded us.
“We knew that would happen, it’s a tough place to come and we have done to get three points.
“Not many teams will come here and get results. They hadn’t lost in quite a few games so we know in our changing room that it’s a great result and not many teams will come and win here.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team. The most important thing is that we win, obviously there is going to be weeks when other people score the goals.
“We’re all in it together at the end of the day, it’s about the team, not individuals.”
Having set up his teammate Hughes for Derby’s second of the game, Ward is certainly aware that teamwork is important - although he was not taking away from his own contribution to the game.
He continued: "Will’s goal was a really good strike. My first came off my shin and it ended up in the roof in the net, but my second goal was a good finish.
“There was a big enough gap between the centre half and the far post and luckily enough I got enough on it and fed it into the bottom corner.
“As I’m running, I have seen the gap open up and I have thrown my body round it and let my left foot come on to it. Luckily enough it went in."