Shotton happy to join Derby

Ryan Shotton believes he is taking a 'new direction' rather than a step back after moving from Stoke City to Derby County.

The 25-year-old has joined Derby on loan with a view to a permanent switch and made his debut in Tuesday night's 1-0 Capital One Cup victory over Charlton Athletic.

He will link up with former Stoke players John Eustace and Richard Keogh in the Rams dressing room and is excited about the challenge of trying to push for promotion.

"Yes, I'm sure Eusty and Captain Keogh will be helping me along, and it will be great to see them," Shotton said in The Sentinel.

"It will also be great to bump into Rory (Delap) again because he takes the Derby under-16s.

"There's a very good team there and I don't expect to go straight into their league team, not with them coming off a 5-1 win over Fulham last weekend.

"Whatever position I play in I'll be happy and it's not something we have spoken about yet.

"The fact that Derby are going for promotion is a massive factor for me going there. They are very ambitious and were very unlucky in the play-off final last year.

"I don't see it as a step back, just a new direction."

While he is looking forward to life at Derby, Shotton admits that it is difficult to leave Stoke behind.

He added: "Not many people get to play for their boyhood team, and it's not nice saying goodbye.

"It's sad to be leaving so many people behind, and I have so many people to thank.

"There is the owners (the Coates family) for putting trust in the fact I'm a local lad. I know for a fact that behind the scenes they have been pushing for me to stick around and be the best I can. That's helped me massively.

"Tony Pulis, when he was here, was great. There's so many more people I'd love to thank, like Mike Pejic, Noel Blake and many more, people who created my characteristics and nurtured me."