sport

Grant hoping for 'sweet' win

Lee Grant is hoping for 'sweet irony' in Derby's Sky Bet Championship play-off final with QPR on Saturday.

In the Rams' last play-off final in 2007, Grant was an understudy to Stephen Bywater and was preparing for a move to Sheffield Wednesday following a season of minimal appearances.

Seven years on, after spells at Wednesday and Burnley, the Derby goalkeeper will be hoping to keep out QPR's strikeforce on Saturday and admits he is delighted to be making an appearance in the crucial encounter at Wembley.

"I was very much looking forward to the opportunity of leaving Derby (in 2007)," he told the Daily Express.

"I felt I needed to leave to progress my career. I was excited to have the opportunity to play at Sheffield Wednesday, which I did do for three years interrupted, and that was probably the making of me in all honesty.

"So the irony to come back and be in a similar situation this season is fantastic. To now do it, help take Derby into the Premier League and be part of the team, will be even sweeter."

Since manager Steve McClaren's return to the iPro stadium, Derby have won 24 games in the Championship - propelling them towards the league's summit.

After re-joining from Burnley last summer, Grant admits he had concerns over County's chances for the season - but now believes he made the correct decision.

"When you come back to a club there is a bit of trepidation - are things going to be as good as they were when you first arrived as a young player? Is it going to be the right decision football wise?" he said.

"The way things have turned out it was the right decision.

"There's this big prize in front of all of us. It would be lovely to spend the summer thinking about, and preparing, for a Premier League campaign. That is the aim."