Keogh explains what will be key for Derby County in the play-offs

Derby County captain Richard Keogh says the Rams have dealt well with every challenge, which has been thrown at them.

Derby County captain Richard Keogh has told the Derby Telegraph he feels the fighting qualities of the team will be vital heading into the Championship play-offs.

The Rams are clinging onto their place in the top six by their fingernails, needing a point in the game against Reading this weekend to be sure of their place in the play-offs.

Keogh has explained that he feels the way the team has been forced to fight to maintain their position, will work for them.

“In the face of adversity – and we've had some rotten luck – no matter what's been thrown at us, we've always come back,” he said.

“We've always kept going and have found a way to get something out of games - I think that will be important going into the last game against Reading and, hopefully, into the play-offs.”

Derby endured a difficult period recently where the injuries piled up and the performances of the side dipped, causing a slide down the table.

The Rams were top of the table, but fell into the top six where they have been competing ever since.

Derby will have to work hard on the final day of the season to secure their play-off place and then the focus will shift to making up for the heartbreak of defeat in the final against QPR last season.

Adversity has the ability to create a very strong bond between players and the team spirit will be vital because the Rams are likely to have the disadvantage of playing at home first in the play-off semi-final.

There is enough quality in the Rams for them to be confident of promotion by the end of the season, but either way, they will learn lessons and will be stronger over 2015/2016.

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