Etherington enjoying left-sided link

Matthew Etherington was particularly pleased to see George McCartney steal the headlines for his wonder goal against Bolton Wanderers.

The left-sided duo, both 26, have been among the club's most consistent performers this season, forging a promising partnership and doing so again to good effect in Sunday's 1-1 draw. "I enjoy playing with him, he overlaps me and it gives me options," said Etherington. "There is a good understanding there."

Etherington was a surprised as anyone to see McCartney open the scoring against Bolton with a "rare-old right-footed volley". He added: "It was a great goal from him. He deserves it, he's been playing well this season. It was a game we should have gone on to win. We had more than enough to chances to kill the game off and we never did."

Undeterred and mindful that the club are four games unbeaten, Etherington is looking ahead to Saturday's trip to Derby County. "We have got a week now to prepare," he said. "We are looking to go there and get the win. To have 15 points is not a bad start but it could be better. We will hopefully get a few injuries back and get three points at Derby.

"It is important to get in the top half - instead of looking behind you are looking above. We want to pushing up the league this season and not looking behind us." The club also have the Carling Cup quarter-final against Everton on 12 December and Etherington was delighted with the draw. "We missed the big clubs but it is still a tough game. It is a good draw for us though and we are at home so hopefully we will take full advantage."