NATHAN Tyson hopes his winning goal for Derby County on Saturday will be enough to get him a starting slot against the Championship leaders tonight.
The Rams host Cardiff City, kick-off 7.45pm, looking to build on their 3-2 victory over Birmingham City.
Tyson climbed off the bench to bag a late winner — and it was his third goal in six appearances from the bench.
“It’s good to score — just hopefully I get to start some time,” said the 30-year-old striker. “All I can do is keep my head down and keep plugging away.
“I’ve had a slow start but hopefully I can pick it up and get a few starts.”
Derby received loan offers for Tyson but turned them down and are now reaping the rewards of having a senior striker on the bench.
And the player himself is glad to still be part of things at Pride Park.
“There’s been opportunities for me to go and play elsewhere,” he said. “The club put a stop to that.
“(Going out on loan) was the rumour I heard. It’s not happened and I just need to get games under my belt.
“There’s a lot going on and I’m just glad to get out there and play, come on and score goals.
“As long as I keep doing that I can’t do any more.”
Nigel Clough has backed his man since picking him up on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2011.
Tyson then had a dreadful year ruined by a persistent groin injury and failed to score in his first season with Derby.
He has thanked the fans and Clough for their patience.
“The way he’s been with me, keeping me in the squad and getting me involved in games shows he still wants me around,” said the ex-Forest man.
“It’s good to part of that and hopefully I can get a good run of games and get more goals.
“I’m working hard in training and training well. I’ve come a long way from last season, being stuck in the physio’s room and doing weights every day.
“I think the most important thing is I’m part of the team. I’m making a contribution to the side.
“I just want to be starting, but it’s good to be part of a team winning games.
“The club’s fantastic and I’ve been well looked after. I can’t ask for any more.
“I just want to push for a start and see what happens.”
Tyson has also quashed rumours he nicked the winner from Conor Sammon at the weekend and denied the striker his hat-trick.
“I scored it — I didn’t even know he was behind me,” he said. “I didn’t even know he was there so I can’t say I took it off him.
“It was a great cross, I was in front and I thought I’d tap it in.”