Efe Ambrose opens up on Derby disappointment - should he have joined Middlesbrough instead?

Frank Lampard manager of Derby looks on during the Sky Bet Championship between Derby County and Swansea City at Pride Park Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Derby, England.

Derby County reportedly beat Championship rivals Boro to the signing of free agent Efe Ambrose.

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Rafael Camacho of Liverpool and Efe Ambrose of Derby County in action during the PL2 game at Derby County Training Ground on March 8, 2019 in Derby,...

Efe Ambrose has expressed his disappointment about the way his Derby County career came to an end, speaking to Goal.

Derby fought off competition from a number of rival Championship clubs, including Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers, to secure the services of an experienced Nigerian international in early February, as reported by TEAMtalk.

Ambrose had recently triggered a clause in his contract which allowed him to walk away from Hibernian on a free transfer and he looked like a solid addition for a Derby side who were planning a return to the Premier League.

 

By the end of the 2018/19 campaign, however, Derby had been consigned to another season of second tier football while Ambrose was heading out the door. The 30-year-old wasn’t included in a single matchday squad during his time at Pride Park with his only action coming for the reserves.

“I joined Derby County because of Frank Lampard. He has been my hero and I felt it was a chance for me to gather more experience from him,” the former Celtic ace told Goal.

(THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Ben Woodburn of Liverpool and Efe Ambrose of Derby County in action during the PL2 game at Derby County Training Ground on March 8, 2019 in Derby,...

“If he [Lampard] felt I was good enough to play, he would have paraded me. No regrets not getting a chance to play under Lampard, a manager I respect so much.

“He brought me in to serve as a cover up and help realise the club’s ambition, unfortunately, I never got a chance.”

Maybe Ambrose simply joined the wrong club. A move to Middlesbrough would have seen him work under Tony Pulis, a famously pragmatic coach who builds his teams from the back and prefers to work with experienced, elder statesmen at the heart of his defence.

Though the chance to make the switch to the Riverside might still be on the cards with Jonathan Woodgate, a talented defender in his playing days, taking over from Pulis.

24th November 2018, Easter Road, Edinburgh, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football,  Hibernian versus Dundee; Efe Ambrose of Hibernian during the warm up before the match

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