Derby were sanctioned a collective 21 Championship points – 12 for entering administration in September and nine for historical financial breaches – but have clawed themselves up into 23rd place with a hot-streak.
The Rams are now nine points from safety after victory over Sheffield United.
Four wins from their last five league games have surged Derby back into a once-distant relegation scrap, having gone seven games without a victory earlier this season.
The 36-year-old, who has been linked with former club Everton, always insisted he wouldn't be abandoning ship despite the crisis that's hit the club.
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