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Derby County coach Steve McClaren: Why I signed a new deal

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 08, 2014

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DERBY County's head coach Steve McClaren says the backing he has received was key to him signing a new contract.

McClaren, first-team coach Paul Simpson and goalkeeper coach Eric Steele have signed deals until the summer of 2017.

The trio joined Derby at the end of September and guided the Rams to third place in the Championship and a place in the play-off final.

Now McClaren is preparing for a new campaign which starts tomorrow with a home game against Rotherham United.

On signing his new contract, he said: "It is really because of the backing we have had from the fans – who have been absolutely fantastic – from the players – who have taken on board exactly what we wanted to do – and from the Amercian owners and chief executive Sam Rush. They have done a great job upstairs.

"So we thought, yes, we can develop this project and get this club to where it belongs.

"It is important to show commitment. I did say we have got to see what commitment we get from the owners and the players.

"We wanted to keep the squad together and develop it, and get better players in as well. The club has done that.

"We have asked the players to commit, to sign three and four-year contracts for the future. They committed and it was only a matter of time before myself, Paul and Eric did the same.

"It was a no-brainer for us.

"The club is going forward but the only thing is we want to put it where it belongs, in the Premier League, and we have got another three seasons now to try to achieve that."

McClaren said he, Simpson and Steele arrived at the club as a team, and he gave a brief insight into how they work.

"I am the crazy one, the disorganised one, and Simmo organises us while Eric is the enthusiastic one and he can deal with other areas too, not just the goalkeepers.

"It is a good balance and one which works and we hope continues to work.

"Simmo likes to organise, I like coaching out on the training ground and so his organisation around the place gives me more time to do that.

"In Eric, we have a grandfather figure.

"He will hate me for saying that but he keeps me and Simmo in check."

Chief executive Sam Rush believes Derby have a "fantastic" chance of securing top-flight football with McClaren and his coaching team.

Rush said: "This is a key period for the club and off the back of a number of key players signing new contracts this summer, it has been a priority for the management team to follow suit.

"It is great that they have shown their commitment to Derby in this way. There have been a number of changes on and off the field in the last year and I have very much enjoyed working alongside Steve, Paul and Eric.

"They share the same ambition as ourselves, to reach the Premier League, and I believe with them at the helm we have a fantastic chance of achieving our goals."

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