Family values count for Ben in fight to earn place
BEN Davies wants to stay and fight for a place in the Derby County side after turning down the chance to leave the club on loan.
The midfielder has barely figured for the Rams this season but came off the bench to score a late goal in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Leeds United at Pride Park Stadium.
It was only his third Championship appearance of the campaign – all of them coming as a substitute – and his first since October.
Davies revealed that he has had offers to go out on loan during his time out of the first team but he passed up the opportunities due to family reasons.
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"I've had a few chances to go out on loan – to a couple of Championship clubs and a couple at the top end of League One," said the 31-year-old.
"The gaffer (Nigel Clough) asked me if I wanted to play games somewhere else over the past three or four months but I've had a couple of problems at home, so I wasn't able to go.
"My little boy, Evan, who is seven months old, had to have an operation on his eye a couple of months ago but, thankfully, he's better now.
"A couple of the clubs that came in for me were quite local but, with everything that was going on, it was still too far for me to go.
"I love football and I love it here at Derby but my family will always come first.
"It's been pretty full-on but everything is falling into place now. My family is healthy, which is the main thing, and I've come on and scored a goal, which was a great feeling.
"These things give you the mental strength to keep going. Now everything is all right, hopefully, I can kick on now."
Davies joined the Rams in January 2001 from Notts County.
He has made 53 appearances in all competitions, including 41 starts, and scored three goals.
His current contract is due to expire at the end of this season.
Davies admits that watching from the sidelines of late has been tough for him.
"I've not really been in this situation before in my career," he said.
"I've had a few niggles and strains along the way too, which hasn't helped.
"But, hopefully, I can stay injury-free and I'll keep banging on the manager's door.
"I'm a positive person and that never changes, whatever is happening in life. I'll always keep plugging away.
"I'm not a very good watcher but the lads have been great, so it's just been a case of being there to support them.
"I come in every day and work hard. I always try to be the last to leave, especially in the last two or three months.
"When you're not featuring, you have to do your own work, otherwise you get left behind and you're miles off it when you do get a chance."
Davies' focus now is to force his way back into contention for the Rams on a regular basis.
"I love it here and I love the lads," he added.
"It's an absolutely fantastic football club to play for and it's great to go out and play in front of 25,000 people."