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Jeff Hendrick glad to pen deal to stay with Derby County

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 28, 2014

Reading v Derby County Madejski Stadium Jeff Hendrick

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JEFF Hendrick is keen to repay the faith shown in him by Derby County and help the club reach the Premier League.

Hendrick has signed a new four-year deal that runs until 2018 and the 22-year-old had no hesitation putting pen to paper.

He says the new deal is a huge boost for his confidence.

“To be offered a four-year deal, ahead of what was set to be the final year of my contract, is obviously great for my confidence,” said the midfielder.

“It’s nice to know the club wants me to stay, and likewise I want to be here.

“They have faith in me and I have faith in the club as well, which is why I have signed.

“I have been here six years in total now and I didn’t see any reason not to sign. I’m happy here, I like the lads we have here and I’m playing football, which is the most important thing.

“Hopefully I can keep doing that and we can have another good season, but go one step further.”

Hendrick impressed towards the end of what was a stop-start season for him in 2013/14.

He started in the team, only to suffer an ankle injury in the victory at Yeovil in August. Surgery was needed to repair the damage and he was out for three months.

On his return, he found it touch to break up the midfield trio of Craig Bryson, John Eustace and Will Hughes. Hendrick had to be content with appearances from the bench but he started 11 of the final 15 Championship matches during which Derby secured their place in the play-offs.

He also started both semi-final legs against Brighton as well as the final at Wembley in which Derby suffered late heartbreak at the hands of Queen’s Park Rangers.

Can the Rams go one better in the season ahead? Hendrick sees no reason why not.

“As players and staff we want Premier League football for Derby, and the fans obviously want it too,” he said. “I see no reason why we can’t achieve that in the future and we want to have a strong season to build on what we achieved last season.”

The Republic of Ireland international feels he has benefited from working under head coach Steve McClaren.

“I think I improved as last season went on,” said Hendrick.

“With his (McClaren’s) coaching, I certainly benefited and I felt like I ended last season in good form. My performances improved after I got a run of games under my belt, and getting a few goals along the way helped.

“No matter what happens you have to take the positives out of a season and we did that as a team and as individuals.”

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