STEVE McClaren says Lee Naylor’s experience and character will be a help to Derby County’s squad as they look to maintain their push for promotion.
Naylor has signed a short-term deal until the end of the season and the 33-year-old comes in as cover for left-back Craig Forsyth.
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Celtic player was a free agent after his contract at League Two Accrington was cancelled by mutual consent last month.
He had been training with Derby and played in the under-21 games against Sheffield Wednesday and Crewe Alexandra.
“Lee has fitted in really well,” said McClaren.
“He has experience and character – where do you get an experienced left-back of that quality at this stage of the season, it is very difficult.
“He has dropped on our lap, so we are lucky.”
Forsyth is an ever-present this season but the left-back is also on eight yellow cards.
Two more bookings between now and the second Sunday in April will see him serve a two-match ban.
Naylor started at Wolves, where he worked under academy manager Chris Evans, who is now head of football operations at Derby.
He played almost 300 league games for Wolves before he joined Celtic in 2006. He made 100 league appearances for the Glasgow club and then moved to Cardiff City in 2010. He joined Accrington at the beginning of this season.
Derby say they will decide in the next day or two whether or not to follow up their interest in Swedish international defender Mikael Dyrestam, but it looks unlikely.
The 22-year-old right-back, who can also play at centre-half, has trained with the Rams this week.
“He has done very well in training but we have to decide whether it’s one for the future or one for now,” said McClaren.
Dyrestam, a free agent, almost joined Bolton Wanderers before the move collapsed.
He was at IFK Gothenburg for six years and made 67 appearances before he left last year.
Due to his age, IFK are owed a development fee for the player.