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Max Bird: Derby County midfielder focused on promotion bid before exit

Derby midfielder Max Bird has vowed to give his all to get the League One club promoted before he leaves this summer.

Championship side Bristol City signed Bird on transfer deadline day on a deal until 2027, but loaned him back to the Rams until the end of the season.

His exit will end a 13-year spell with the club he joined at the age of 10.

"As long as I'm in a Derby County shirt I'm here to get this club promoted - it's my boyhood club," he told BBC Radio Derby.

"I thought it was the right opportunity, the right decision for me to go and take a step to Bristol City.

"But I'm still here, back on loan and for as long as I'm wearing a Derby County shirt, as soon as I step over that white line I'm trying to get this club promoted back to the Championship."

Next season Bird could find himself facing his former team-mates if the Rams join his new employers in the second tier. Derby sit second in League One, six points behind leaders Portsmouth with a game in hand.

The 23-year-old has played 193 times for Derby, and has scored four times in 26 league appearances this season, including a goal on Saturday in their draw with Shrewsbury.

"Obviously it was a tough decision," he added.

"I've been here 13 years since I was 10 and it wasn't an easy decision, but I felt the time was right, the opportunity was right and it's something that I had to take.

"Of course I'm looking forward to it, but now is the present moment and I'm focused on that and I'm focused on my job which is playing football for Derby County.

"Everyone's in the same boat - we've got 30,000 fans who want us to get promoted and I'm wanting that too, so I'll be giving it my all like I do every game, like I have done since I came into the first team."

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