Ben Davies rejected approaches from several Championship clubs in favour of a move to Sheffield United, writes James Shield.
The Derby County midfielder, who earlier this week joined Nigel Clough’s side on loan until the end of the season, made the admission ahead of tomorrow’s League One fixture with Bristol City.
Having entered the closing stages of his contract at the iPro Stadium - and with sources in the east Midlands last night reporting it is by no means certain to be renewed - Davies told The Star: “Because of the situation I’m in, everything had to be exactly right. This is an important stage of my career.
“I know they (Derby) took some telephone calls from clubs in the same division as them but, for one reason or another, those deals just weren’t right for me.
“However, when this opportunity came up, and it was put to me, things were different. I know the manager (Clough), I’ve got a lot of respect for him and am looking forward to getting the opportunity of working with him again at, let’s be honest, what is a huge and well-thought of club.”
“This is probably the only offer that would have made me step down into a level for,” Davies added. “I’m ambitious, the same as any other player and I just feel this is the right thing to do.”
Davies, aged 32, made his United debut as a second-half substitute during Wednesday night’s victory at Gillingham which lifted the visitors out of the bottom four ahead of the meeting with fellow strugglers City. Clough, who later described the win as “psychologically important,” was forced to remove Davies from his starting eleven when the player’s arrival was delayed by traffic.
“Nigel keeps it simple,” Davies said. “That’s one of the beauties of working for him.
“You’re expected to work hard and do your job to the best of your ability. If you don’t, then you won’t go very far under him but everything is done within clearly defined roles.”
Meanwhile, United’s victory over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend has been voted ‘Performance of the Week’ by the League Managers Association.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett, Barry Fry and Howard Wilkinson, the LMA’s chairman, formed the judging panel.
United won the tie courtesy of goals from Chris Porter (2) and Conor Coady.