DERBY County’s new signing Cyrus Christie says Rams skipper Richard Keogh played a key role in his development.
Christie’s first season as a professional saw him play alongside Keogh in Coventry’s defence.
“He used to talk me through the games,” said Christie, who has teamed up with Keogh again after joining Derby from the Sky Blues. “He helped me a lot and gave me good advice.”
The 21-year-old right back has signed a three-year deal after the clubs agreed an undisclosed compensation package.
Looking back at the 2011/12 season, Christie said: “Richard played every game and I played 40 games, I think, so we played alongside each other quite a bit.
“He is a fantastic player and a good leader.
“It was a shame how that season went (Coventry were relegated conceding 65 goals in 46 matches) but we were quite solid at the back.”
Christie said before signing for Derby he received positive reports about the club from former Rams favourite Lee Carsley.
Carsley worked with Christie at Coventry in his roles as first-team coach and caretaker manager.
“I spoke to Lee about Derby,” said Christie. “He rang me a few times and told me about the place and the club. Everything I heard about Derby has been positive.
“Derby had a great season last season. They have a talented team and a great manager and set-up.
“It was the best choice out of the clubs that have shown interest in me, and it is a club that is going places.”
Stepping back up to the Championship also appealed to Christie.
“I played in the Championship when I was 18 and 19, so it was about playing at the higher level again,” he said.
Christie will battle with Kieron Freeman for the right-back role.
Continued on Page 43
“The position is there for the taking,” said Christie.
“Obviously there are other players here who are fighting for the slot. There is Kieron Freeman. I played against him last season and he is a good player, so it is competition for places.
“I will train hard and put in the work, and hopefully I can have that spot for first game of the season.”
Coventry is Christie’s home-town club and although it is emotional for him to leave, he believes it is the right time.
“I told them last year I wanted to step back up to the Championship and to be fair to them they said I could only go if the right offer came in,” he said.
“Unfortunately, the right offer didn’t come in. I told them I would play last season and give 100 per cent but I wasn’t going to change my mind.
“It was emotional to leave. I was there for 13 years and I made some friends for life.
“The staff was great with me and I learned a lot there.
“Hopefully I can learn a lot under the gaffer here at Derby and his coaching staff.”