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Rowett signs new contract to dash Stoke’s hopes


London (AFP) – Highly-regarded English manager Gary Rowett ended relegation-threatened Premier League club Stoke City’s hopes of him taking over when he signed a new contract with second tier Derby County on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old’s stock has risen in his stewardship of two Championship sides, firstly with Birmingham City and then Derby.

His departure from Birmingham last season was controversial as he had guided them to within sight of the play-offs but the owners wanted to bring in Italian Gianfranco Zola, which promptly saw their form fall apart and came close to relegation.

Rowett attracted interest from Stoke — who sacked Mark Hughes last Saturday after they lost to fourth tier Coventry in the FA Cup — after impressing again at Derby steering them to second in the table at present.

“Derby County are delighted to announce that manager Gary Rowett has signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract with the club in pursuit of a return to the Premier League,” read the club statement on their website.

Rowett, who played over 100 games for Derby, said he was delighted to have been rewarded with a new contract. 

“I am thrilled to extend my contract with this great club through to 2021 and I have thoroughly enjoyed being back at Derby County,” said Rowett, who has been in charge since last March.

“I am looking forward to the future and helping to guide Derby County back to the Premier League, where it belongs.”

Hughes, who was appointed as the replacement for Tony Pulis in 2013, left Stoke in the bottom three on goal difference after winning only one of their last seven league games.

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