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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

Ireland's Richard Keogh insists he hasn't been affected by losing Derby captaincy

The Republic of Ireland international also branded supporters’ criticism unfair.

 Keogh has earned seven caps for Ireland
Keogh has earned seven caps for Ireland
Image: Brian Lawless/SPORTSFILE

RICHARD KEOGH HAS dismissed the idea that losing the captain’s armband has affected him and is keen to prove his critics wrong as Derby County aim for promotion.

The Republic of Ireland international had been captain of the club since his arrival from Coventry City in 2012, but Chris Baird has been chosen to lead the team this season by new Rams boss Paul Clement.

“I was very proud of what I did in my three years as captain. I can hold my head high over how I conducted myself, it was a special time for me,” Keogh told the Derby Telegraph.

“Not being captain hasn’t changed me as a person or a player,” he continued. “I will carry on doing what I have always done and that is pass on advice to the younger players and just try to set high standards for myself in training and on the pitch.

“I have kept my head down, trained hard pre-season and just focused on myself.”

Keogh added: “I heard Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany talk about captaincy last season, saying when he was captain he sometimes maybe focused on other things around him rather than his own game.

“Maybe that happened to me a little bit but I still felt I kept my performances very high.”

During the 29-year-old’s time at Derby, the club have come close to earning promotion to the Premier League, but one game in particular bears particular resonance. The 2014 Championship play-off final saw the Rams lose out to Queens Park Rangers and it was an error from Keogh that allowed Bobby Zamora to score the decisive goal.

However, the Harlow native believes that some of the criticism he has since received has been unfair, noting that his inclusion in the PFA Championship Team of the Year last season shows he peformed to a high standard.

“People always look for someone to blame and maybe it was a follow-on from Wembley, I don’t know,” Keogh said. “Maybe some people still had that in their head.

“I thought the way I handled it was good. I think that was proved by me being voted into the Championship Team of the Year. That says a lot and probably went a little bit unnoticed.

“I would like to think my performance levels have been quite high since I have been at the club.

“The fans are entitled to their opinion. They all want the club to do well, just as I do but I didn’t think some of the criticism was fair.

“That’s football and you move on.”

Originally published at 14.31

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