Conor Sammon's confidence rising as he finds his feet in good run of starts for Derby County
CONOR Sammon feels he is finding his feet at Derby County after netting his fifth goal of the season in the 3-1 victory over Leeds United.
Sammon opened the scoring after a quarter of an hour at Pride Park Stadium on Saturday.
Paul Green levelled on the stroke of half-time against his former club but Jake Buxton regained the lead for the Rams in the 66th minute and substitute Ben Davies wrapped up the points deep into added time.
Aside from his goal, Sammon – a £1.2m signing from Wigan Athletic in August – produced an impressive all-round display in leading the line alongside Theo Robinson.
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"I'm really enjoying my role in the team and getting back-to-back starts," said the 25-year-old Irishman.
"I'm really starting to find my feet and I was delighted to get another goal.
"As a striker, you are judged on goals and I'm always striving to score.
"I'm happy to have added another one to my tally.
"I was definitely pleased with my own contribution."
For his opener, Sammon received a fine pass from man of the match Will Hughes before taking on Leeds defender Lee Peltier and wrong-footing keeper Paddy Kenny.
"It was a brilliant through ball by Will. That's the kind of thing he is capable of.
"In training, you see him do it all the time – he's got that quality – and I was just delighted to be on the end of it.
"I thought the defender was getting back to put a tackle in, so I was just looking to get my strike off as soon as possible.
"I didn't catch the shot cleanly but they are often the ones that go in.
"I think the keeper was expecting me to go across him but it caught him out, so happy days."
Nigel Clough's men are now unbeaten in seven home matches.
"We knew it was going to be a big game going into it but our home form has been really good this season," said Sammon.
"Leeds had won three on the spin and were in good form.
"The atmosphere was really good for the early kick-off and it was a brilliant three points for us.
"There's a good rivalry between the fans and when you arrived at the ground, you just knew it was going to be a good game.
"The weather was nice and the pitch was in good condition – it was just a brilliant day to come out and play a game of football.
"I'm just delighted that our fans went home happy."
Sammon was pleased with Derby's response to conceding an equaliser just before the interval.
"It was very frustrating to concede a goal when we'd played well," said the former Kilmarnock front man.
"We were hoping to see it in to half-time but it wasn't to be.
"But we've got such a good group of players and a good team spirit.
"We knew that if we kept doing what we'd been doing in the first half, we'd create more chances. Thankfully, we did.
"Credit goes to the whole team. The centre-backs were winning headers, including Mark O'Brien when he came on – I think he won every header that came into his area.
"We worked hard and saw out the victory."
Sammon also had some words of praise for strike partner Robinson.
"Theo's been in great form – he scores goals but his game is about more than that," he said.
"He put in a great shift against Leeds.
"Sometimes he drifts out wide to make it a five in midfield and then comes back to join me up front.
"He's a brilliant player to have in your side."
Saturday's result extended Derby's winning streak against Leeds to eight matches.
"I saw that we'd won seven in a row before the game," Sammon added.
"It's a very strange statistic but, from our point of view, very good and long may it continue."