Central-defender links up with SPL side Motherwell.

Derby County defender Mark O’Brien has joined Scottish Premiership outfit Motherwell on loan.

The 21-year-old Academy product has joined Stuart McCall’s side in a deal that will run until January 2015.

Motherwell finished runners-up to Celtic in the league last season and started their 2014/15 season with a 1-0 home win over St Mirren last weekend, before tasting a 1-0 reverse against Dundee United in midweek.

O’Brien has found his first-team opportunities limited due to the form of Richard Keogh, Jake Buxton and Zak Whitbread.

A knee injury forced him to miss the start of last season but after making a full recovery, he was only called upon to act as an unused substitute on several occasions.

Head Coach Steve McClaren said: “It is important Mark gets out and plays some first-team football and going to Motherwell will allow him to do that.

“He has been incredibly patient waiting in the wings behind our other central defenders and it will benefit him going out and playing matches again.”

O’Brien, who made his debut for Derby as a schoolboy at the end of the 2008/09 season, has made 35 senior appearances in a Rams shirt.

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