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Derby County signing Leon Best is out to remind people what he has to offer

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

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STRIKER Leon Best hopes joining Derby County will give him the opportunity to remind people what he has to offer, writes Steve Nicholson.

Best describes the past two years since his £3m move from Newcastle United to Blackburn Rovers as the most frustrating time of his career.

He suffered a serious knee injury playing in a friendly against AEK Athens only weeks after arriving at Rovers and has made just 11 starts for the Lancashire club.

He finished last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.

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Now Best sees his season-long loan to Derby as something of a fresh start and the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland international is excited about the challenge.

"I cannot wait to get started. I am here to play football and I feel this is a new start," he said.

"This is a big move for me, definitely. I feel privileged to be here working with the players and the manager, Steve McClaren."

Best still has two years to run on his contract at Blackburn and the Ewood Park club will continue to pay a hefty slice of his wages.

Looking back at the last two years, Best said: "A lot of people remember my injury (at Blackburn) before anything.

"It was the worst possible start. The first pre-season game for Blackburn, I had just scored a lovely goal and then got injured – the worst injury I have had in my career.

"It was so hard, your whole world comes crashing down. Then it is all about the people you have got around you – your team-mates, the physios, and your family.

"For me, that was a crash in my football career with Blackburn but mentally as a man and a footballer it actually opened my eyes to what I really need to do to become better.

"I am a confident player, I just want to play. I work very hard and it is just a matter of getting on the field to show that. I have not been given that chance.

"Now I have got that chance.

"It is about being given the opportunity to play and then the rest is down to me."

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