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Derby County will only get better after beating Rotherham United - Steve McClaren

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 11, 2014

By Steve Nicholson

McClaren

McClaren

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STEVE McClaren believes Derby County will grow from their opening-day win against newly-promoted Rotherham United.

The Rams needed an 82nd-minute goal from Jeff Hendrick to see off the Millers 1-0 at the iPro Stadium on Saturday.

McClaren described the performance as a mixture of good things and poor things.

"We didn't play with great smartness or intelligence after the first half an hour," said the head coach.

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"It was your typical first game of the season where the result is probably more important than the performance, but we will grow from this."

Derby are among the favourites for promotion from the Championship, having finished third last season before they lost in the play-off final at Wembley.

McClaren was pleased with the character and patience shown by his players against Rotherham.

"I thought we deserved to win because we controlled the game, although we had one or two hairy moments," he said.

"We knew Rotherham would make us work hard for the result.

"They had been beaten only four times in 34 games and have the confidence after winning promotion at Wembley last season.

"They are difficult opponents. Steve Evans has done a great job with them, he has got them organised and hard to beat.

"They are threat at set-plays, which we knew. I thought we defended well and kept a clean sheet.

"We will win games because we have got that quality, and I liked it because we had composure and had to have patience.

"We said to the players the game is 95 minutes long, keep your patience and keep knocking at the door because we have got the quality to win games, which we did in the end."

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