Jody Morris 'jumped at chance' to join Bristol City
Jody Morris says the 'Derek McInnes factor' persuaded him to leave St Johnstone and sign for Bristol City.
Out of contract at McDiarmid Park, the former Chelsea midfielder has signed a one-year deal after moving to City on a free transfer.
He says he jumped at the chance to renew his working relationship with the man who revived his career by bringing him north of the border in 2008.
"I'm over the moon to have agreed this deal," said Morris. "After four-and-a-half years working with the gaffer at St Johnstone, I jumped at this chance.
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"When the gaffer signed me (from Millwall) in 2008 it was a tough time in my career, but St Johnstone is where I fell in love with football again.
"When the gaffer moved down to Bristol I kept an eye on Bristol City's results.
"The job he did last season, coming in at a difficult stage, was tremendous, especially to keep the team up comfortably in the end.
"It was a big task and now the manager is keen to build and improve next season.
"I know he is keen to strengthen the squad for the challenge ahead this term."
A European Cup Winners Cup and FA Cup winner with Chelsea, Morris is now 33, but insists he is still fit enough for the npower Championship.
He said: "I've played at Championship level before and higher, so I'm fully confident in my ability.
"I'm only 33 and I live my life a lot better than I did ten years ago, making me feel a lot better.
"Long-term, I do have coaching ambitions, but my sole focus moving to Bristol City is to play football. I feel I have a few years left to play yet.
"This is the right switch for my career, plus an opportunity to bring the family back down south."
McInnes is keen to recruit up to three new players before City report back for pre-season training next month and Morris is his first summer signing.
A creative player with an eye for a pass, Morris can operate in central midfield and will provide competition for Neil Kilkenny, Cole Skuse and Marvin Elliott.
City boss McInnes said: "Jody is someone I know well and someone I trust. I know about his dedication to performing, not only on a match-day, but also in training throughout the week.
"I feel it is important we bring in the right players and also the right types and Jody fits that bracket. He was a vital part of my team at St Johnstone and I'm looking forward to working with him again here at Bristol City. Jody has excellent experience as well as superb fitness levels and I know he is capable of performing well in the Championship on a regular basis."
Morris boasts a Premier League pedigree, having started his career at Chelsea, for whom he made 124 appearances. The Londoner went on to play for Leeds, Rotherham and Millwall before being snapped up by McInnes at St Johnstone in 2008.
He made more than 100 appearances for the Saints and helped them win the Scottish Division One title in 2009.
When McInnes left McDiarmid Park to take over at Bristol City last October, Morris stepped up to assist Saints caretaker-boss Alec Cleland before reverting to his playing role when Steve Lomas was appointed as manager.