Some Derby County supporters have taken to Twitter to praise the performance of Max Bird who had an excellent game in the 1-0 win over Bristol City.
Bird was making his first start for Derby since mid-December.
The talented midfielder started the game in a more advanced role, pushing ahead of Krystian Bielik and Graeme Shinnie while playing closer to centre-forward Colin Kazim-Richards.
The switch immediately saw Derby dominate the early stages, with Kazim-Richards giving the Rams the lead inside five minutes while Bird later rattled the post with a stinging shot.
Bielik’s injury later saw Bird drop back into a deeper role, but he maintained his impressive performance level and prompted some Derby fans to single him out after the game.
MORE DERBY STORIES
Bird initially became a first-team regular last season alongside Wayne Rooney.
The 20-year-old’s ability to pass the ball is without question. However, he often came in for criticism for playing too safe with plenty of sideways and backwards passing.
Against Bristol City in an advanced, however, he put in a far more energetic display and when receiving the ball his initial thought was to drive forward rather than retain the ball.
It’s a new side of Bird many Derby fans haven’t yet witnessed and reaffirmed the belief that the Rams academy product has the tools to become a top Championship player.
Bielik’s injury, however, will likely see Bird drop back into a deeper role in the Pole’s absence.
The victory over Bristol lifts Derby momentarily up to 18th position in the league table, with Wayne Rooney’s side now keeping eight clean sheets in their last 11 games.