Unfortunately it was not to be for Derby County, with the Rams suffering a 2-1 defeat to Fulham in the semi-finals of the Championship playoffs.
Cameron Jerome scored the only goal of the match in the first leg at Pride Park last week, but Fulham recorded a 2-0 victory on home soil to secure their spot in the final.
Derby’s wait for a return to the Premier League goes on, but the Rams can take plenty of positives from their 2017-18 campaign, and will be looking to launch another challenge next season.
There were a number of players that struggled to make their mark against Fulham, but it was once again an impressive performance from Curtis Davies.
The 33-year-old joined Derby last summer following Hull City’s relegation from the Premier League, and he did not miss a single Championship game for Gary Rowett’s side last term.
Such consistency from a centre-back in the latter stages of his career should be celebrated, and he was arguably his team’s best player at Craven Cottage on Monday night.
Indeed, Davies, who is valued at £1.8m by transfermarkt.co.uk, won three of his aerial duels during the 90 minutes, whilst the skipper also managed one shot, one key pass and boasted a 100% dribble success.
It was a match that Fulham dominated for long spells, but Davies stood up to the battle, and also ended the fixture with a 71% pass success rate, which cannot be criticised, especially considering the high press that the home side adopted for much of the match.
Davies has played for West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Hull in the Premier League, and there will surely be a number of managers having a look at the experienced defender ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.