Former Wigan boss Paul Jewell has been named manager of struggling Derby on a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Jewell left Wigan at the end of last season after keeping them up
The 43-year-old takes over from Billy Davies with the Rams bottom of the Premier League having collected just six points from their opening 14 games.
Asked if he was confident of avoiding relegation, Jewell said: "Absolutely. It's going to be difficult but I'm not here to raise the white flag.
"We're not adrift. We've got to work together and get out of the mess."
Jewell had been out of football management since quitting Wigan at the end of last season, citing the need for a break from football.
I'm refreshed and hopefully I can come back a better manager
He has since turned down an approach from the Republic of Ireland and also rejected the chance to return to the JJB Stadium after Chris Hutchings was sacked.
The former Bradford City and Sheffield Wednesday manager was also linked with Bolton and Birmingham and insisted he was ready for a new challenge.
"Let's put this straight - I was never ill," Jewell said. "I was never in a straitjacket as some people might have thought.
"All I wanted to do was walk away from Wigan with my head held high and I think I can do that. I had been there six years and we'd come from the old third division to the top tier.
"There's a time and a place in football when you've done enough and maybe it was time for me to walk away from Wigan and for Wigan to move forward with somebody else.
"I just wanted a rest from football and I'm not ashamed to say that. I enjoyed my time, I'm refreshed and hopefully I can come back a better manager."
MK Dons boss Paul Ince was also in contention to succeed Davies, who parted company with the club on Monday, but Derby were refused permission to talk to him.
I've watched lots of games and lots of players, so I've got a decent portfolio of players that we would like to bring in if available
Chairman Adam Pearson said there was only one man for the job.
"Paul is a stand-out candidate with regard to managerial experience in the Premier League and, God forbid, the Championship as well," he explained.
"It's a coup for the club and I can't think of anyone I'd rather go into battle with over the next six months.
"I think it will give the club a real lift. I want to put a positive slant back on the club, I want the club to be back on the front foot. This guy will definitely do that for me and that's why it's so important."
Davies was embroiled in a dispute with the Derby board over spending on transfers.
But Jewell, whose first game in charge is on Saturday at Sunderland, said: "There will be money made available if and when we need to strengthen.
"While I've been away I've watched lots of games and lots of players, so I've got a decent portfolio of players that we would like to bring in if available."
Pearson, who replaced Peter Gadsby in October and is actively seeking substantial investment from outside the club, added: "The manager will be supported by the chairman and the board of the football club."