Jamie Ward: Derby County forward signs two-year contract

Jamie Ward (right) battles for possession with Ashley Cole of Chelsea
Ward scored seven goals in 42 appearances for the Rams last season, but has not scored in 2014

Derby County forward Jamie Ward has signed a new two-year contract which keeps him at the Championship club until the summer of 2016.

Northern Ireland international Ward was in the final year of his deal and head coach Steve McClaren was pleased to have resolved 28-year-old's future.

McClaren told BBC Radio Derby: "The club finally got together with Jamie and sorted it and we are delighted.

"To be squabbling over your contract going into the season was not ideal."

Ward, who signed a full-time deal with Derby in 2011, made 42 appearances for the Rams last season as they reached the Championship play-off final, scoring seven goals.

Steve McClaren on Jamie Ward
"He is great in the dressing room. He has a great rapport with everybody, he is infectious, can set the mood and get everybody buoyant and up."

But he has not scored a goal in 2014, has not been an automatic first choice and was left out of the side for the first league game of the season.

McClaren still sees Ward as an important part of the squad and believes finalising his new contract will help him concentrate on his football.

"It has been frustrating for him and us but now everybody can settle down," McClaren added. "He can get back to playing football, contributing and scoring goals which is what Jamie does best.

"He is great in the dressing room. He has a great rapport with everybody, he is infectious, can set the mood and get everybody buoyant and up."

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