Efe Ambrose on why he left Hibs for Derby and what the future holds
Efe Ambrose has revealed he left Hibs to push his career forward under his "hero" Frank Lampard at Derby County - but has no regrets despite failing to make a single appearances for the Rams.
Speaking to Goal magazine, the Nigerian defender - who won five Scottish league titles, one Scottish Cup and one League Cup during his seven full seasons in Scotland with Celtic and Hibs - said: "I joined Derby because of Frank Lampard. He has been my hero and I felt it was a chance for me to gather more experience from him.
“I had to leave Hibs where I was a regular to push my career forward and Derby was the right place for me, especially under a manager who has seen it all.”
However, the former Ashdod centre-back admitted that, while things didn't go to plan, he didn't go looking for answers.
"I'm not that kind of player," he said. "I work very hard and leave the coaches to decide. If [Lampard] felt I was good enough to play, he would have paraded me.
"He brought me in as cover and help realise the club's ambition - unfortunately, I never got a chance."
The 30-year-old defender activated a clause in his contract and left the Capital club in January 2019, despite the offer of a new deal. He made 86 appearances for Hibs, scoring six goals including strikes against NSI Runavik and Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League qualifiers.
Linked with numerous clubs in England, the affable defender eventually signed a short-term deal with Derby in mid-February.
The Rams reached the Championship play-off final where they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa, with Ambrose's former Easter Road team-mate John McGinn scoring the decisive goal for the Midlands club.
Ambrose's departure from Pride Park was announced just days later, but the Kaduna-born player isn't thinking about hanging his boots up just yet.
"The most important thing is the next challenge, and I'm just a player while my agents will do the talking," he explained.
"When the right time comes, I'll announce my next move."