Ex-Toon Striker Returns To The Premiership

Last updated : 11 July 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor

We were facing Third Division football, but that goal ... scored by David Kelly ... changed the fortunes of the club.

The ex-Toon striker has had troubled times of late, but Derby boss Billy Davies has again got his assistant by his side, but this time in the Premier League.

Davies finally has trusted right-hand man Kelly at his side again after a year of waiting, although with the Scot conceding he came close to throwing in the towel.

After Davies left Preston to join Derby last June, he attempted to bring Kelly with him, only for North End to scupper the move.

Kelly was placed on 'gardening leave' by Preston, and up until a few days ago it appeared as if Davies would not get his man.

However, the appointment of Trevor Birch as chief executive last month was instrumental as he managed to broker a deal between the two clubs.

Davies: "He is a very loyal person. What you see is what you get, and I'm delighted to have him.

"He's had great experience as a player and he has great experience as a coach and an assistant manager.

"He has a wonderful relationship with players, and when he needs to be naughty, he can be a bit naughty, which helps.

"What I mean by that, is when he needs to be firm and aggressive, he can be.

"Sometimes as a manager it's nice to stand back and let your assistant go in and make one or two points to people.

"I know I can turn my back at any time and he will do the right thing for the right reason.

"He is a fantastic addition to this club, and he's been a breath of fresh air on the training ground in the last few days."

Kelly: "I'm pleased the gaffer has brought me in. I've known him a long time, we're very good friends and we trust each other.

"I know what he is all about, and that's why we get on so well together.

"He's asked me to be honest, up front, and he knows what he gets with me. That won't change."

Kelly was signed by Ossie Ardiles in 1991 and went on to score 38 goals in 79 appearances for the Mags.

One of the heroes of the 1993 promotion team, he scored a hat-trick in his last Newcastle game (v Leicester). United sold him to Wolves. Later played for Sunderland.