By Emma Sanders

Johnny Russell claims teammate, Bradley Johnson was Derby’s best player during their 1-0 victory against Leeds.

The two sides went head-to-head on Saturday and Russell came off the bench to score the winner in the 56th minute to give his team all three points.

However, the Scotland international described Johnson’s performance as ‘brilliant’ and hailed him as one of Derby’s stars.

“We did have to hold on and there were a few scary moments but Carse [Scott Carson] was brilliant when we needed him and the post and the bar helped us as well!” he told the Derby Telegraph.

“I thought Carse and the back four were excellent and Johnno [Bradley Johnson] in front of them was probably man of the match.

“I thought he was brilliant,” he added.

Johnson has made four league appearances for the Rams this season from midfield and is gradually becoming a valuable member of the team.

The former Leeds star played as a deep-lying midfielder in the victory against the Whites during Steve McClaren’s first game in charge.

Derby set up in a 4-3-3 formation and Johnson provided crucial protection for his side’s defence.

The 29 year-old signed for Derby in September 2015 and has gone on to make 35 appearances in the Championship.

Under new boss McClaren, he could become a key figure in the side as the former England manager may consider playing his preferred 4-3-3 formation regularly.

Johnson has picked up three yellow cards in his last three league games though, so he could face a spell on the sidelines through suspension if he’s not careful.

His exclusion from the side would be a loss, especially if Johnson continues to deliver the standard of performance he did against Leeds.

In other Derby news, McClaren has revealed the reasons why he thinks Newcastle were to blame for his sacking.