Keogh has made upwards of 300 appearances for the Rams since joining in 2012 from Coventry City but his time at Pride Park has not been without criticism and promotion heartbreak.
In terms of heartbreak, Keogh finished on the losing side in the 2014 playoff final, missed out on the top six by one point in 2015, and was on the losing side in both the 2016 and 2018 semi-finals.
However, the Irishman did put in a great display against Leeds United in the second leg at Elland Road as Frank Lampard's side became the first team to reach the second-tier final after having lost the first leg at home.
"He deserves all the praise that he's getting. He's some defender and he looked like some forward against Leeds," McGrath told Irish outlet SportsJOE. "People might say he should be given more freedom to play out from the back for Ireland but I don't think it's as easy as switching players and moving them around the pitch. Richard knows what he does best and that's defending.
"Sure, he goes for a wander sometimes and the odd time it works out but when it doesn't work out and he's caught out of position, he'll be criticised so it's a fine line but one Richard knows himself. I think he knows when to go and not to go. He's absolutely brilliant. I'm thrilled with the way he's come on. I think Mick will do a great job of gelling the team into a cohesive unit, particularly defensively with Richard at the heart."
Derby and Villa will lock horns in Monday's Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium.
Have something to tell us about this article?