Savage signs up for Derby challenge

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The Independent Football

Robbie Savage hopes his hatred of losing will rub off on his new Derby team-mates after he completed his move to the Premier League's bottom club for an initial £1.5m yesterday.

Even a determined optimist like Savage accepts that he has probably exchanged the chance of Uefa Cup football with Blackburn for next season in the Championship but he believes the Rams can fulfil his longer-term ambitions.

The former Wales international, 33, who has agreed a two-and-a-half year contract, said: "I've never played in a promotion-winning side and I am sure I will do that at Derby if we do go down this season. I have walked away from European football with Blackburn because the manager admitted I might not play as much as I would like. Paul Jewell showed he wanted me and I am delighted to come."

Jewell's side have 16 league defeats and only one solitary victory from their below-par campaign to date. And Savage said: "I take losing to heart. If we can win a few more and go down fighting and not with a whimper, that will count for a lot."