Croft - I've got more to offer
Out-of-favour Derby winger Lee Croft is determined to force his way back into Nigel Clough's first-team plans.
Last Updated: 11/07/11 3:35pm
Out-of-favour Derby winger Lee Croft is determined to force his way back into Nigel Clough's first-team plans this season.
Croft, who arrived at the Championship club from Norwich in 2009, has not featured for the Rams since January last year after losing his place in Clough's side.
He spent six months on loan at League One side Huddersfield last season but only started one game for the Terriers.
The 26-year-old appeared to be heading for the door at Pride Park this summer, but after returning for pre-season training in good shape he is feeling optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
"The past 12 months have not been great for me. It is fair to say it has been a low point of my career," Croft told the Derby Telegraph.
"But I want to put that behind me now and I am looking forward to a fresh start.
"I had a chat with the gaffer towards the end of last season and things were looking a lot more positive. He told me to work hard over the summer, come back pre-season and give myself the best opportunity possible.
"I went away and did that and I have come back feeling sharp and ready. I hope it is a fresh start and that I can get back playing football.
"Ideally, I wouldn't have wanted to go out on loan last season but I found myself in that situation.
"But this is where I want to be. I don't want to be going anywhere else on loan and it is up to me to force my way back into the gaffer's plans and make sure I stay in them.
"I feel I still have something to offer."
Croft admits last season was tough, adding: "It's hard when you are not playing games, and it was definitely a low point for me but I just kept my head down, kept working and kept supporting the lads who were playing.
"I didn't moan, I just got on with it. I think that is the only thing you can do in that situation.
"If you can get through that and come out the other side it can make you a stronger person and, hopefully, this will be a good year for me."