Thursday 13 October 2016

Steve McClaren returned as Derby County manager afrter bening suspended

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren has returned to Derby County as a manager just 17 months after he was sacked by the Championship club unceremoniously.

The former England manager held talks with Derby on Wednesday with a view to taking over from Nigel Pearson and the two parties reached agreement on a contract that runs until the end of next season.

Out of work since being dismissed by Newcastle United in March, McClaren fell out with the Derby board at the end of the 2014-15 season, when his contract was terminated after a poor end to that campaign. Derby’s promotion challenge was derailed after they won only two out of their last 13 league games and the feeling within the club at the time was that their cause had not been helped by constant rumours linking McClaren with the Newcastle job.

McClaren, however, has patched up any differences with Mel Morris, Derby’s owner, and is ready to go back to the club for a fourth time. He represented Derby as a player between 1985-88, returned as Jim Smith’s assistant in 1995 and was appointed as manager in September 2013.

"I am excited to be back at Derby County as the club’s manager," said McClaren. "I have a great affiliation with the club, having been here on three previous occasions, and I am really delighted at the prospect of finishing what we started back in September 2013. I regret how my time at Derby ended back in 2015 and I am very motivated to put things right for the club and our supporters.

"My ultimate aspiration remains exactly what it was before, to take Derby County back to the Premier League. This football club has fantastic ambition, brilliant supporters and wonderful backing from the chairman Mel Morris."

McClaren led Derby to the Championship play-off final in that first season in charge, only to lose 1-0 to Queens Park Rangers. There has been little stability at Derby ever since. Paul Clement replaced McClaren in 2015 and was sacked eight months later, with the club fifth in the table at the time. Darren Wassall then took over until the end of the season, when the club turned to Pearson.However, an explosive row with Morris led to Pearson leaving the club by mutual consent on Saturday.

Chris Powell, Pearson’s No2, was placed in temporary charge for the recent matches at Cardiff and Reading, during which Pearson was suspended pending an internal investigation, and the former England left-back was thought to be the favoured choice to take over permanently. Yet Powell will instead retain his role as assistant manager and work alongside McClaren, whose first game back in the Derby dugout will be at home against Leeds United on Saturday. Derby are currently 20th in the Championship with 10 points from 11 matches.



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