CHRIS Martin is backing Derby County to keep playing their free-flowing football when the pressure is on.
The Rams finished third in the Championship table and were the division’s top scorers with 84 goals from their 46 fixtures.
Now they head into the play-offs, with a two-legged semi-final against sixth-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Seagulls have the second best defensive record in the division, but that should not impact on Derby’s game according to Martin.
“I don’t see any reason we can’t play like we have done all season in the play-offs,” he said. “We’ve played like that in pretty much every game this season.
“We’ve very rarely been outplayed and we’ve been able to impress our game on most other teams.
“We’ve played with a lot of freedom this season and I think that will continue.
“People didn’t write us off as such, but I don’t think many expected us to get where we are and I think that has helped us.
“The shackles have been off and we’ve not had the same pressure that teams like QPR and Wigan have had, with their big budgets and having come down from the Premier League.
“That hasn’t held us back and, hopefully, that bodes well for the play-offs.
“I think we’ll do very well, to be honest.
“We’re carrying good form into it and we’ve got a very good squad, who are clicking together and scoring a lot of goals at just the right time.”
Martin, who is Derby’s leading marksman with 23 goals, believes Steve McClaren’s men have nothing to fear.
He said: “You never know how the games are going to go in the play-offs – you could win it comfortably, you could lose it or it could be a really tight 1-0.
“But we will be confident going into it and I think there will be one or two teams out there who are perhaps a little bit frightened of us.”
The Rams finished third in the Championship, but that does not necessarily make them favourites.
Martin said: “There are some big teams in there – you’ve got QPR, who were favourites to win the league at the start of the season.
“There will be a lot of pressure on those guys.
“People say it’s a lottery. I don’t think it is – if you prepare right.
“We’ll go in with a lot of confidence and I don’t think there will be too many wanting us as opponents.”