The 31-year-old started his first game for six months, with Steve McClaren’s team securing a 4-0 victory, which has helped them consolidate their position in the Championship play-off places.
“It was important for us to keep a clean sheet. It niggles away at the back of your head that it could be a decent night ruined even if just one goal is conceded,” said Whitbread.
It was only the second clean sheet the team have managed to keep since the game against Charlton at the end of February.
The performance should give the players in Derby’s backline some confidence, which bodes well over the rest of the season as the club looks to defend their place in the top six.
Two wins from the club’s last three games has come at exactly the right time and Steve McClaren needs to quickly move the focus onto the next game and the challenge, which faces the side this weekend.
It’s not been easy because there have been changes to Derby’s defence, but they now have a chance to find some consistency with some positive signs from recent games.
Further clean sheets will further add to the team’s confidence and that will be very important heading into the knock out situation of the play-offs if the Rams avoid any further hiccups over the coming weeks.