Derby County striker Jamie Ward has Baiano scoring record in his sights
A GOAL for Jamie Ward today will see the striker achieve something no Derby County player has done in 15 years.
Ward, the Rams' joint top scorer, is in a rich scoring vein.
He has found the net in four consecutive league games going into today's home Championship clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers (3pm).
The 26-year-old scored in the draws against Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, the victory over Huddersfield Town and the defeat by Hull City.
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Italian forward Francesco Baiano was the last Derby player to score in five or more consecutive league matches.
Baiano actually scored in a run of six Premiership games against Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Leicester City, Manchester United and Wimbledon during September and October 1997.
He hit eight goals in those six games and finished the season with 13 goals.
Until Baiano came along, the last Derby player to score in six consecutive league games was Eddie Thomas in 1964-65.
No player in Derby's history has scored in seven consecutive league matches.
The last before Ward to score in four league games was Fabrizio Ravanelli (he scored in a Worthington Cup tie as well) in 2001. Branko Strupar also did it in 2000.
Ward now has nine goals for the season despite being sidelined for three months with a hamstring injury.
"It is just good to be playing football again – and somewhere I am wanted by the staff," said Ward.
"Hopefully, my performances are repaying the faith they put in me two years ago when they brought me to the club.
"But it's not all about me, it is about the team. I am there to score goals and create chances. That's my job for the team. As long as I am doing that, I am doing my part."
Ward does not set himself a goal target at the start of a season.
"I would have been happy to get into double figures," he said.
"I am on nine now and I will be even happier to get into double figures, given the way my season has gone with the injury.
"The important thing for me is getting a goal and then getting another one. Each time I go out at the moment, I think I have a great chance of scoring.
"The injury kept me out for 13 weeks. That was the hardest thing about it. I am going to get injuries, it is part of football.
"It would be nice if I had stayed fit and was on 20 goals now but we can all dream, can't we?"