Richard Keogh (L) and Sam Winnall (R) of Derby County celebrate with Johnny Russell after he scores the winning goal during the Sky Bet Championship match against Burton Albion.
As the halfway point of the Championship season quickly approaches Derby County are sitting in a promising position currently in sixth place.
Their 1-0 victory over Burton Albion in their last outing gives the Rams a three-point cushion between themselves and seventh-placed Ipswich Town going into this weekend's trip to Barnsley.
Gary Rowett looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Burton Albion.
Derby have been considered promotion contenders for several seasons but have always fallen short, yet is manager Gary Rowett getting the best out of one player in particular key to their push for the Premier League this time around?
That man is Matej Vydra, who currently has 12 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions in 2017/18, including 11 in the second tier of English football to put him only behind Sheffield United's Leon Clarke (13) and Leon Bonatini of Wolverhampton Wanderers (12) on the topscorer's list.
Vydra's goals have fired teams to promotion from this division before, scoring 16 for Watford during the 2014/15 campaign as they finished second behind Bournemouth.
Matej Vydra of Derby County shoots on goal past Luke Chambers of Ipswich Town during the Sky Bet Championship match at iPro Stadium.
Yet since then form has been hard to come by for the 25-year-old and there was always an underlying feeling that the forward was not quite fulfilling his potential.
Well on current showings Rowett seems to have found the secret with Vydra and the Czech Republic international is playing with a freedom in attack which, if maintained, could finally get County back to the promised land of the top flight after almost a decade's absence.