Lampard delighted Derby’s play-off destiny is in their own hands
Frank Lampard expressed his delight that Derby’s play-off destiny is in their own hands heading into the final round of fixtures.
Derby’s 1-1 draw at Swansea left them with a narrow advantage over Middlesbrough in the race for the final play-off position.
Lampard’s side have a one-point lead over Middlesbrough, not to mention a superior goal difference, while Bristol City also remain in the play-off hunt a point further back.
“It’s in our hands. If you offered me that seven or eight months ago I’d have taken it,” Derby boss Lampard said.
“The play-offs are where we want to be and it will be an achievement if we get that sixth spot.
“It’s time for us to stay focused and calm behind the scenes. The fans will be excited, but we’ve got to know what the job is.”
Derby are at home to fourth-placed West Brom in the final game on Sunday, Middlesbrough are away to relegated Rotherham and Bristol City travel to Hull.
Skipper Richard Keogh, who opened the scoring at Swansea with a first-half header, could miss the final fixture after suffering a groin injury that saw him substituted.
“After the first half I’m disappointed because, if we were at fault, it was because we didn’t take the goals out of our first half performance,” Lampard said.
“I thought we controlled the game and were aggressive without the ball.
“But our final movement wasn’t quite right and at half time I rued the fact we weren’t two goals to the good.
“Credit to Swansea, they changed it second half, played some good football and we have to accept the point.”
Swansea extended their unbeaten home league record to 11 games when Wayne Routledge pounced for a 66th-minute equaliser after Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos had pushed Oli McBurnie’s header on to a post.
“I think we’ve got better and better here, it’s nice to get some momentum at home and make it difficult for teams,” said Swansea manager Graham Potter, who revealed that contract talks were planned with 23-goal McBurnie.
“He’s someone we’re going to speak to in the summer, over the next days and weeks.
“He’s been great for us, great for me. A fantastic professional, a fantastic person.
“We’ll work within our financial position to try and do something.”