Striker Jack Marriott was at the centre of a prolonged transfer saga throughout the summer, before finally joining Derby County from Peterborough United.
The saga meant that Marriott wasn’t involved in much of The Posh’s pre-season preparations, as Steve Evans was reluctant to risk the striker to keep transfer options alive for the striker. The 24-year-old joined The Posh on their pre-season tour of Portugal as he looked to maintain some fitness, but arrived at Derby County significantly behind the rest of the squad in terms of fitness.
Marriott only managed some substitute appearances in the very early stages of his Derby career, but has started to flourish under Frank Lampard as his fitness continues to improve.
He picked up his first Rams goal in a memorable penalty victory over Manchester United in the Carabao Cup, and has now scored two goals in his last two starts. He scored his first Championship goal at Loftus Road against QPR, before scoring the winner against then League leaders Sheffield United on Saturday.
Ahead of The Rams’ clash with promotion rivals West Brom, the former Posh man has been speaking to the Derby Telegraph.
“I feel 100% now. All the fitness guys and everyone knew it was a difficult summer for me – but that has gone now.
“I’m just looking forward to the game on Wednesday (at West Brom) – I look forward to every game now.
“It’s great to be in and around the squad and to be playing is even better.
“It’s a tougher level, so I’d say I’m even fitter than I was last season, because you have to be. The Championship is harder than League One – everyone knows that – and the games are more intense.”
“You’ve got to run yourself into the ground and that inevitably makes you fitter.
“I’d say I’m as fit as I’ve ever been.”