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Derby boss Jim Smith
"He's contributed greatly to our survival"
 real 14k

Wednesday, 9 May, 2001, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Taribo goes West
Taribo West
Taribo West's Derby County career is over
Taribo West is leaving Derby after saving the Rams from relegation - because of international commitments.

The 26-year-old defender's arrival on a free transfer from Inter Milan coincided in an improvement in Derby's fortunes.

But the player has missed several games because of international commitments with Nigeria - and that is one of the reasons Jim Smith is not keen to keep the player at Derby.

West missed the 1-0 win at Manchester United which safeguarded the Pride Park club's Premiership status because he was needed by Nigeria - it was the first time Derby had won this season without the Nigerian in the side.

And manager Smith said: "We won't be offering Taribo a new contract.

"He has done a great job for us and been popular with both his fellow players and Derby's fans.

"But Taribo's international commitments mean we can never obtain the continuity of team selection which we would like.

"When you mix in his very high wages, you have to say this decision is being made in the best interests of Derby."

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