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Derby County star says he went against medical advice to save jobs and his club

Inspirational centre-half Curtis Davies made a surprise return to Derby County's matchday squad for their final day relegation showdown with Sheffield Wednesday

Curtis Davies has revealed that he went against medical advice to do his bit for Derby County’s last ditch relegation battle, with the prospect of job losses driving his decision.

The inspirational centre-half was ruled out for the rest of the season back in December when he ruptured his right Achilles' tendon but, having made good progress with his rehabilitation, offered his services to manager Wayne Rooney for the final day showdown with Sheffield Wednesday.

And with the scores level at 3-3 at Pride Park, and less than ten minutes of normal time to go, the 36-year-old was thrown on to help see out the game with the Rams knowing they just needed to hang on to their point to stay up, including a further six agonising minutes of stoppage time.

“When it came down to the last day I wouldn’t have been true to myself if I’d have gone against my thoughts, and I felt good,” revealed Davies, who faces an uncertain future due to being out of contract at the club he’s served for the last four seasons.

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“And I had to go against medical advice to do it, but it was something I was happy to do for my team, for my teammates and the club.

“You know the thought of people losing their jobs and things like that if there had been relegation, I couldn’t have that on my back so I wanted to do what I could to help.

“And it might have only been a ‘no’ from Wayne straight away, ‘no, don’t be silly,’ but I am glad I managed to play a part in helping us stay in the league today.”

A leader and truly influential figure, Derby hadn’t lost in his previous four games for the club back in November/December.

“I know my role and that’s the reason I offered myself up,” he told BBC Five Live.

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“I know that physically I am OK with running, twisting and turning, which I have been doing in my rehab, but I knew that for me to come on for ten minutes and win a couple of headers and organise is easy. So that part was definitely easy.

“I didn’t know it was five we haven’t lost when I played so that’s a good stat for my CV.

“But regardless of the four games prior to this one, this was the one that mattered and I had to stand up and be counted for.”

Most of the Derby players celebrated enthusiastically on the final whistle but not the talismanic defender.

A mark of the man is the fact that his first thoughts were for his opponents before having an emotional moment to himself to reflect on what had been achieved and what he had done mentally to prepare himself for his surprise comeback.

“It’s a strange one,” he said.

“We have got a lot of younger players and this is like a celebration to them because it is a relative success, but on one day. We have been a bad team over 46 games of the season, let’s not get away from it.

“My emotion was that of relief. I went and consoled those Sheffield Wednesday players because I have had relegations and it’s really tough to take, especially on the last day of the season, so I went to console those Sheffield Wednesday players and I had a little bit of a moment to myself as well.

“I think I got a little bit emotional with the relief of us actually staying up and what I had mentally done to prepare myself for this, because I hadn’t even trained and fact that it might be my last game for Derby.

“So I wasn’t jumping up and down. As much as I am happy we’re staying up, there’s no open top bus tour for staying up.

“For a club like us we should never be in that situation.

“I am delighted we have stayed up, of course, but hopefully it won’t be that situation next season.”

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