MICHAEL Jacobs hopes his first 90 minutes in the league for Derby County can be a springboard for a run in the side.
The 20-year-old winger started his third Championship match of the season in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
He was the Rams’ best player as they slid to defeat — and stayed on the pitch for the whole match.
Now, he hopes his patience will be rewarded with further starts for the club.
“My calves are a bit tired!” said the summer signing from Northampton Town. “I played in midweek at Forest (for the under-21s), did quite well and scored there.
“I’ve done well in training, so it was nice to get out there and get 90 minutes under my belt, especially in the league.
“I’ve done 70 and 75 minutes, but not really a 90, so it’s another stepping stone for me in my career, learning how to play in the Championship.
“You have to learn. There are a lot of positives I can take from my performance — and also you’ve got to look at it about getting the ball into the box and creating chances for team-mates.
“I’ll learn from today and it’s a big thing I’ll learn. Hopefully I can take it into next week if I’m picked.”
Jacobs has not started as many games for Derby as fans expected following his summer arrival.
But Rams boss Nigel Clough has gradually introduced the promising winger to life in the Championship following his arrival from League Two.
“I’m learning — there are a lot of good players here,” said Jacobs. “Sometimes you have to be patient and wait for your chance.
“There’s no way I’m going to start throwing up a fuss because I’ve spent a lot of time on the bench.
“I’m not that sort of lad — I’ll wait for my chance. I got a chance today and I thought I did quite well.
“I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone and hopefully I can start a few more games, keep it going and keep performing well.”
Derby have lost back-to-back games in London, with their defeat at Selhurst Park on Saturday following a 2-1 reverse at Millwall.
Now, Jacobs is hoping to put it right in Saturday’s clash with Birmingham City at Pride Park.
“They’ve been two difficult trips,” he said. “We were more disappointed after Millwall because we worked hard and got back into the game.
“We played quite well second half (against Millwall). We battered them, especially for an away performance. We played some great stuff — that was probably a bit more disappointing than Palace.
“Obviously, 3-0 didn’t help but I didn’t think it was a 3-0 performance from us. We’ve got to look to create more chances and defend better.
“But you learn from them and decision making comes from age, but we’ll learn and hopefully we can put it right next week.
“These are tough places to come and both teams are in form, doing well, and if you look at the form table both teams are right up there.
“It’ll be nice to get back to Pride Park and we’ve made it a bit of a fortress at home. We’ve won a lot of games there this year and hopefully we can carry it on next week.”