When Stephen Pearson joined the Rams in January, many people north of the border thought he had made a huge mistake. The £750,000 signing from Celtic has fitted in well at the Rams and he believes it`s been an ideal move for himself.
Pearson started his career at Motherwell where Billy Davies, then manager, handed the midfielder his debut. The huge decision to head south was made easier with Davies in charge of the Rams. Pearson said: “Billy’s a winner and was a big factor in me coming to Derby.
“He is a top manager and coach and the atmosphere on the training ground is great.
“Billy did well at Motherwell, Preston and is now doing a great job at Derby.”
Pearson, who worked under another Scot, Gordon Strachan, at Celtic, sees some similarities between Strachan and the Rams boss. “They are both enthusiastic coaches, ambitious and determined. They are also hands on in training,” said Pearson.
Pearson was asked if he was missing Celtic Park, but with the Rams sitting six points clear at the top of the Championship, the Scotsman was adamant. “Am I missing Celtic? No,” said Pearson, who made just 22 league starts in three years at Parkhead. He added: “I do miss having a laugh with the boys and, obviously, there is something about playing for Celtic, but there comes a time to move on. January was the right time for me.”
Pearson looked to have a bright future on the international stage following his debut in the Euro 2004 play-off victory over Holland at Hampden Park but has collected only five more caps since. But the 24-year-old hopes playing regularly for the Rams will help his chances of winning more caps. He had a solid game in the Scotland B side`s 2-2 draw against Finland on Wednesday.
Pearson said: “It was good to get back involved with Scotland in the B game, I have been with the A squad before and that is where you want to be.
‘I haven’t played a lot for Scotland, but that’s because I wasn’t getting a regular game with Celtic. You will never get to international level if you’re stuck on the bench.
‘I would hope to have a more realistic chance of a call-up now because I’m playing every week. However, I need to do well and catch the new manager’s eye.’
Celtic`s loss is Derby County`s gain and if Pearson keeps his current form a place in the Premiership and the full Scottish side will be his reward.