Learning curve for Leacock

Derby defender keen to build on Premier experience

Leacock: Faced the best

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Derby defender Dean Leacock insists this season's failed relegation battle will help him to improve as a player.

The Rams' immediate return to the Football League was confirmed by Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Fulham.

Manager Paul Jewell has been unable to add to the single victory the club secured against Newcastle under former boss Billy Davies, and they look set to go down with a record points low.

But Leacock insists that the experience he has gained from coming up against star-studded Premier League opposition will stand him in good stead for next season.

Learning curve

He told the club's official website: "This season has been a learning curve for me.

"I've played against some of the top players in the world and I've had a few good games, but a few bad games too.

"But I'm young, I can only improve, and that is what I'm trying to do.

"I've learnt a lot from what players do but obviously next season is going to be a lot different.

"There is a big difference between the Championship and the Premier League so I will try and take what I've learnt this season into next and hopefully come out on top."