ZAK Whitbread hailed the character shown by his Derby County team-mates as they fought back to draw with Ipswich Town.
And the defender said the input of new Rams head coach Steve McClaren and his staff turned the game around after a dreadful first half for the home side, in which they fell 4-1 behind.
“It was a crazy first half, we couldn’t have had a worst start,” said Whitbread, who joined the Rams on a three-month loan deal from Leicester City at the weekend.
“Full credit to the lads at half-time, we’ve gone in, regrouped and you can’t ask for more than coming back out and pulling back that scoreline, showing the character that we did.
“It was a good second half performance.
“The manager (McClaren) has come in at half-time and quite rightly had a say.
“He pulled a few things about and made a couple of changes as well as making a few points which he thought could change the second half and change the outcome.
“Thankfully, it paid off.
“There were bit and bobs from all the staff at half-time.
“They all played a part, there were a few words said and we had to respond.”
Whitbread was on the scoresheet for the Rams in the 12th minute but Ipswich were already 2-0 up by that point.
And Whitbread got the final touch for the visitors’ opener, as Christophe Berra went up to meet Aaron Cresswell’s free kick in the sixth minute.
“I thought I had the last contact but I also thought he was climbing all over the top of me,” said Whitbread.
“So in my defence, I thought I was getting fouled.
“Scoring for the Rams on my debut was great though.
“My last goal was against Derby funnily enough, coming last season.
“So that’s two against Derby and one for!
“It was nice to get a goal on my debut and hopefully that crosses off the first goal that Ipswich scored.”
But Whitbread acknowledged that the Rams defending in the first half, particularly at set pieces, left a lot to be desired.
“To concede from sloppy set pieces was frustrating as that is bread and butter for us.”