Derby County coach Frank Lampard believes Efe Ambrose will bring good competition and experience to the English Championship side just as the match fitness of the former Super Eagles player will likewise be assessed this week.
Ambrose left Hibernian as a free agent in January in the wake of turning down another offer and has been with the Rams before procuring himself a deal
Following the confirmation on his switch to the English championship, the 30-year-old revealed how the reputation of Frank Lampard affected his decision to make the move to England.
“Sometimes you never know where football will take you but for me, it’s a dream to play down in England so getting the opportunity to play here is amazing,” Ambrose told Rams TV.
“I had other offers from abroad so when my agent called me and said Derby were interested and they had put an offer to us, with Frank Lampard, I said there is no second choice.
“That should be the first choice because, for me, I’ve known about him since he was at Chelsea as a player and he has been my hero and someone I’ve always enjoyed watching play football.
“He is a legend so when he told me about Derby and Lampard, I’ve always watched the Championship and known about the passion.
“In the Carabao Cup, they beat Manchester United so I’ve been impressed with what the manager has brought into the club and for me to come and have the opportunity to play under him is a great honour and I didn’t think twice to come.
“For him to bring me in is a great honour personally and I want to do what I can to make sure I play my part in the ambition of the club.”
The Rams, sit seventh on the Championship log, are level on points with 6th place Middlesbrough with 51 from 31 matches – firmly fighting for a playoff spot.
Ambrose who has enjoyed topflight football in Scotland [Celtic and Hibernian] and Isreal [Ashdod] is aiming to help the Rams gain promotion to the Premier League.
I know what it means to be in the top six and what it means to get a ticket to the Premier League,
I know the ambition what Frank Lampard wants for this club so for me, that is a motivation.
Every player wants to make a mark and I want to do the best I can do to give back to the club.
We are aiming for the top two places to get the automatic ticket so once you put that in your head then it’s a challenge and it’s not impossible. In the Championship, everyone is equal to everyone.
Anyone can beat anyone when you are at your best so for me I need to work hard, train hard and adapt quickly to help the team.
I know it’s a busy time playing every weekend and that’s the challenge I like. It’s competitive football that I like so I don’t have a problem with that. I want to prove myself and make sure to repay his trust in me and that is why I’m here.
The Nigeria international will sit out for ‘one or two weeks’ to make his debut subsequent to being ruled out of their FA Cup fifth round game against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.
“Lampard says that Efe Ambrose is a week or two away from being considered for inclusion in the matchday squad
There was certainly an issue with match fitness, as there has been with Ashley Cole, none of their own faults. Ashley was out of season, and Efe was out of contract.
“Whatever you do in that situation does not equate to training and be prepared to play a match.
“My feeling is he (Ambrose) is a week or two away from being in the squad