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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008, 14:16 GMT
Savage delighted after Derby move
Robbie Savage
Savage has started just 10 Premier League games this season
Robbie Savage has revealed he rejected a move to Sunderland and took a pay cut to complete a 1.5m move from Blackburn to Derby County.

Savage, 33, will make his debut against Derby boss Paul Jewell's former club Wigan at Pride Park on Saturday.

He said: "Of course I was tempted by a move to Sunderland, for a manager like Roy Keane you are going to be tempted.

"I felt Derby and Paul wanted me more and for Derby to pay the fee they have shown how much they wanted me."


He added: "Paul also wanted me when he was manager at Wigan and that was a big factor in making me come.

"I have taken a pay cut to come and just play football and I am happy to do that. Blackburn could qualify for Europe but I would rather be playing week in week out.

"I wanted to play first team football and Mark Hughes couldn't give me that on a regular basis. But the gaffer at Blackburn was fantastic for me, he gave me permission to speak to people."

Savage joined Rovers in 2005 and played a big role in the club's qualification for Europe the following year.

However, after breaking his leg in January last year, Savage was forced to undergo surgery on a knee injury this season, restricting his appearances for Blackburn.

Asked whether the Pride Park faithful will take to Savage after reports that some fans had voiced a protest against him joining the club, boss Jewell said he felt their opinion would change.

He is one of those characters you despise when he is playing for the opposition but you love when he is on your team

Jewell on Savage

"I hated Robbie Savage when he played against me," Jewell admitted. "He is one of those characters you despise when he is playing for the opposition but you love when he is on your team.

"I know there is a little bit of history between Robbie and the Derby fans, but that is the same for him and every club - that is part of his nature.

"But if he comes and plays a part in turning this club around I'm sure the supporters will be delighted to see him in a Derby shirt.

"People do Robbie an injustice regarding his ability. You don't play at the top level for as long as he has, and also for your country, by only going around kicking people."

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