Phil Jagielka has added further experience to Wayne Rooney’s backline at Derby County and the 39-year-old is ready to hit the ground running at Pride Park, he told the club’s website.
After being a bit part player at Sheffield United for a couple of seasons, the former England international is ready to get his teeth stuck into Derby’s suspected relegation battle.
To say it has been a complicated summer for the Rams would be an understatement but adding the experience of Jagielka and Sam Baldock to the ranks recently has given the squad a boost. Jagielka is very committed to the cause.
He said: “With what happened last year, staying in the league and coming back as a Championship team, a lot of people left and we have a youthful team with six or seven lads being here a little while, but I think everyone is ready for the challenge.
“Everyone knows it will be tough and we’ve been given a lot of hurdles and hoops to jump through, but we all have to be thankful we are still a Championship team.
“We can play some decent football; we have some decent players and we have a good squad of players. We will go out week in, week out and give it our all.”
Derby welcome Neil Warnock’s Middlesbrough to Pride Park this Saturday in pursuit of back to back wins.
Jagielka is an excellent addition for County, this is not just any player in his late 30s who will be a good influence on and off the pitch, this is a man with 40 England caps and 376 Premier League appearances, with over 20 years of knowhow in the top two tiers of English football.
If anyone is ready to keep a cool head, nurture the youthful players who are being forced into the first team a little ahead of their time and create a middle ground between the players and coaching staff, it is Phil Jagielka.
As Derby supporters helplessly observe the state of their squad and whether or not it is off Championship standard, Jagielka guarantees that the correct endeavour and attitude will be established ahead of every challenge they face this season.