The former Leicester boss is happy with the Rams defensive work so far this season
Derby County manager Nigel Pearson
The Rams have managed to keep three clean sheets from their opening four games, keeping out Grimsby in the EFL Cup as well as promotion hopefuls Brighton and Preston North End in the Championship.
If pre-season games are included, Derby have kept six clean sheets from eight games under Pearson.
Pleased: Nigel Pearson
And the former Leicester boss has praised his side's defensive work.
"We have had three clean sheets, so we have defended pretty well as a rule, so far.
"The fitness of the players is improving and I am pretty pleased with how they have applied themselves, for the most part.
"It is going OK. There are areas to improve, and I am sure we will get better."
Craig Forsyth of Derby County
Derby have responded well from their disappointing defeat to Barnsley last weekend, grabbing all three points at Deepdale during the week.
A late strike from Craig Forsyth proved to be the difference, with the defender powering home a header with just minutes remaining.
Ready and waiting: Roberto Di Matteo
The Rams will hope to add to the four points they have accumulated so far this season when they take on promotion contenders Aston Villa on Saturday.
Like Derby, Roberto Di Matteo's side have amassed four points from their opening three games, and they'll be looking to bounce back from their disappointing score-draw with Huddersfield, where they threw away all three points thanks to a mistake from keeper Pierluigi Gollini.