Craig Bryson: Derby County midfielder 'proving' his worth

Craig Bryson (left) fends off Brighton's Jake Forster-Caskey
Bryson (left) has scored three goals in 21 appearances this season

Derby County's Craig Bryson hopes he has shown boss Steve McClaren that he deserves a regular starting role.

Bryson was a key man as Derby reached the Championship play-off final last season, scoring 16 goals in 50 games.

But he has not been a guaranteed first choice of late, and Saturday's 3-0 win over Brighton was only his fourth start in the last seven league games.

"When you go on the pitch you have to prove yourself, and that's what I've done," Bryson told BBC Radio Derby.

"There's no point sitting in the corner feeling sorry for yourself."

Bryson, who missed out on a starting place in the play-off final in May after injuring his back, was a summer transfer target for Queens Park Rangers.

But the 28-year-old signed a new five-year deal in July, much to the delight of McClaren, who feared the midfielder would leave.

However, the good form of Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick and Omar Mascarell has meant Bryson has had to wait for his turn as the Rams have climbed to the top of the Championship table on the back of four wins in five games.

"Obviously you're disappointed when you don't play, but you can't really show it in front of the boys," the Scotland international continued.

"We're at the top of the league for a reason. We've got to keep doing what we're good at and see what happens at the end of the season."