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Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 10 August 2009 17:53 UK

Savage delight at new Derby deal

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Savage keen to see out career with Rams

Veteran Derby County midfielder Robbie Savage says he is thrilled to have signed a new contract which keeps him at Pride Park until 2011.

The former Wales international, 35, looked certain to leave at this stage last season but has played a key role under manager Nigel Clough.

Savage, whose original deal would have expired at the end of this season, told BBC Radio Derby: "It's fantastic.

"It's been an amazing turnaround. I was heading out - I was finished."

Savage was signed by previous manager Paul Jewell but soon fell out of favour and was loaned out to Brighton at the start of last term.

Robbie Savage
If you'd have suggested eight months ago I'd be signing a contract extension I'd have thought you were mad

Robbie Savage

And he said not being involved with the first team and having to watch from the sidelines was one of his lowest points during an 18-year career.

"When you're not playing and things were as bad as they were it affects everything because football is my life," Savage explained. "I was training with the kids and the fitness coach."

But things changed when Nigel Clough was appointed Rams boss in January 2009.

Savage was quickly re-introduced to the first team and he has not looked back.

"The gaffer came in and gave me a new lease of life and I've signed a new deal which is incredible," Savage said.

"The gaffer put his arm around me - which you need whether you are 34 or 17 - and told me I'm a decent player.

"I can't thank the gaffer and his staff enough. I love my football again and it's down to them.

"But if you'd have suggested eight months ago I'd be signing a contract extension I'd have thought you were mad."

Former Manchester United trainee Savage says there is no reason why he cannot continue to play for at least another two years.

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"I still feel in great shape. I've just gone through my 18th pre-season as a professional and it was one of my best," he said.

"This club should be in the Premier League and I believe under Nigel Clough and his staff we will get back there. But we're not going to put ourselves under pressure by saying when.

"This will almost certainly be my last contract in football and I'll be doing everything I can for this club to go out on a high."



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