Former Aberdeen and Caley Thistle captain Graeme Shinnie says he has no regrets over his move to Derby County.
The 28-year-old has started only 10 of Derby’s 37 matches in the Championship ahead of play resuming on June 20.
He said: “It was a fresh start as I had played in Scotland for 10 years against the same teams at the same stadiums. I wanted to experience different football.
“I signed for Frank Lampard then he immediately left, which was not ideal. I was out of favour with the new manager until I eventually got an opportunity and turned it around.
“I was playing again, then got injured at a really bad time. I was out for 10 weeks.
“I was in and out the team after that but in our last game at Blackburn we won 3-0 and I played well. I felt that was me back to my best, then everything came to a halt because of coronavirus.”
Shinnie admits it is a surreal experience to play alongside Wayne Rooney at Derby County.
The former Don has been enormously impressed by the levels of professionalism shown by the Manchester United and England record goalscorer.
Shinnie said: “He’s unbelievable. It’s mental.
“His game management, passing and shooting are top class.
“He has the ability to control games without using too much energy. And he has a wee Aberdonian kid running around next time who will hopefully keep him happy by doing all his hard work.
“It’s been unbelievable to work with a player like that. The young players especially will gain massively from having him there.
“I’m 28 but still learning a lot from him and where he’s been. And listening to his stories is good as well – he talks about Champions League and I talk about Scottish Cup.
“In terms of the standard down here, it is very good. I can say that after playing next to Rooney. But on the flip side of that, I feel there’s many players in Scottish football who could perform down here.”
Shinnie is back training with Derby with the Championship season set to resume this month.
He added: “It’s been a lot different. On the first day we were tested straight away and were limited to two players per pitch with one coach.
“It was little passing drills and mostly running. We weren’t allowed in the building so you were coming up in your car, staying there until you were told, going to the doc’s office and getting the swab done. Then waiting in your car again until the coach came and got you.
“We started full contact training on Thursday, which is a lot better. We’ve been doing a lot of 11v11 games because it’s such a short turnaround after 10 weeks off.
“My natural fitness has always been there, but match sharpness is so much different. I have picked up a couple of bookings already in training.
“We are only five points off the play-off places and promotion to the Premier League is massive. It’s going to be intense and demanding. It’s important we hit the ground running.”