David Nugent has revealed his determination to fire home the goals for Derby County – after establishing himself as the Rams’ arch nemesis in the past.
The 31-year-old striker today put pen-to-paper on a two-and-a-half year deal with the club after joining from Premier League side Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee.
Nugent, who has scored over 150 goals to date at club level in his professional career, has enjoyed an uncanny habit of finding the net against Derby in recent years.
In total, he has scored nine goals in 16 appearances against the Rams – scoring for Preston North End, Portsmouth and Leicester City.
However, now a fully-fledged Ram, Nugent is looking forward to scoring plenty of goals in a Derby shirt and admits he’s hungrier than ever to get back to playing games and doing what he does best.
He told RamsTV: “I’ve scored a few goals against the club in the past; sometimes you have teams that you always seem to score against and Derby has been one of them.
“I’m looking forward to putting the Derby County shirt on and scoring goals for the club now.
“I can’t wait to get back out on the pitch and I am really excited about that. I’ve had a frustrating few months as I’ve not playing too much this season, so I am raring to go.
“I’ve only played one competitive game, in the EFL Cup at the start of the season, and I didn’t really have a sniff after that.
“I’m chomping at the bit to be playing games and I have that hunger to be playing and scoring goals.
“I am as hungry as ever. I can’t wait to get out there, get the fans excited and help this club to be successful.”
Nugent joins a Derby side which has enjoyed a new lease of life under Steve McClaren.
Since the 55-year-old returned to the club as manager in October, Derby have risen up the table and sit on the cusp of the division’s top six.
They have won 10 of his 15 games in all competitions, losing just twice, and Nugent says it is down to Derby to keep the pressure on the teams above them.
He said: “I am aware of how the team has been doing.
“Obviously it was a slow start to the season but since Steve has come in the results have really picked up and there’s everything to play for, sitting just outside the play-offs at the moment.
“There are lots of points to play for so we want to get as many results as we can and put the teams above us under pressure.
“We’ve got a few teams to play that sit above us so if we can get the results that we want, it would be even better.”
Another factor in Nugent’s decision to join Derby was the prospect of linking up with McClaren once again.
The Derby boss handed Nugent his one and only full England cap back in 2007 against Andorra.
The frontman was on target during that game, scoring a tap-in late on, and Nugent is looking forward to working alongside him once more.
He said: “The England cap was a long time ago now, back in 2007 against Andorra; so I know Steve pretty well.
“I’ve kept in touch with him and he knows that kind of player I am and he thinks I can do well for this team.
“He is a great coach and he has clearly given the club a lift coming back, as the results have shown.
“I am just happy to come here and play for him, hopefully I can score the goals as well.”
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