Wayne Rooney made his debut for Derby in the Championship and he set up the opening goal in a 2-1 win over Barnsley.
The former England captain played in central midfield and he had a hand in both goals as Derby made it back to back league wins.
Rooney joined the club on an 18-month player-coach deal in August but the 34-year-old was ineligible to play until January.
Derby manager Phillip Cocu explained why he deployed Rooney in midfield: "A lot of people see him as a striker and a goalscorer but his vision of the game is excellent.
"I like the way he plays because he is not focused on himself but he also puts other people in good positions in front of goal. He played a great game."
Rooney told Sky Sports after the game: "My general fitness felt good, I trained for a long time to prepare for this game and the important thing was the victory, which we were in desperate need of.
"I've had a lot of hard training sessions, and it's frustrating to do them as a player but they've helped me through tonight."
Rooney added: "I always found as a forward player that if you get the ball within the width of the goal that anything can happen, and I just tried to do that."
Derby are 17th in the Championship after winning back-to-back matches for the first time this season.