Derby boss Steve McClaren is happy with the progress his side are making after swatting hapless Rotherham aside 3-0.
The Rams are upwardly mobile under McClaren and they had little trouble getting past an abject Millers side who are winless in 13 games.
Tom Ince and Darren Bent scored within four first-half minutes of each other to put them on track and then a second for Ince applied gloss on a win that sends Derby into the top half.
Ince should have been going home with the match ball but his second-half spot-kick was one of two that Rotherham goalkeeper Lee Camp saved.
McClaren said: “We didn’t start well, once we got the goal we settled. We could have scored more and we created chances.
“Five or six games a go we were wondering if we would ever score, but now we are creating chances and credit to the staff.
“We could have scored four, we missed a penalty but the clean sheet was important. Progress was made. We are not the full package, there is still a lot of work, but I am still encouraged by the response of the players.”
Ince was the standout performer at the iPro but he will be put through his paces on Monday after two penalty misses – the first he got away with by tucking the rebound home.
McClaren added: “He took his penalty against Wolves well, that’s the confidence of him, it’s a good job he scored from the rebound. I’m surprised Benty didn’t grab the ball off him for the second one but Tom wanted a hat-trick.
“Don’t worry he will work with Kevin (Phillips) on Monday.”
For Rotherham it was the all-too familiar taste of defeat, their 12th from 17 this season.
They have been entirely undermined by a defensive incapability as their goals against tally went to 41 – the highest in the Football League.
That has left Kenny Jackett unable to make an impact following his appointment four weeks ago and already sitting nine points adrift of safety, the Millers have a real fight to stay in the division.
“We are still struggling to find a defensive set-up that can keep us competitive,” Jackett said.
“We started the game pretty well in the first 20 minutes, we had a lot of it, we had the ball and made inroads but then we gave two very poor goals away on the break when we were in good positions.
“The second half was similar, we were playing in and around our box and then gave away a very, very poor third goal away. The key moments took the game to them.
“The outstanding statistic which is disappointing again is the goals against column. It’s frustrating when you lose the game.
“The better side won, I can’t say that wasn’t the case. We started the game and gave them two goals, which is disappointing.”