STEVE McClaren says he returned to English football in a bid to rebuild his reputation as a manager and a coach in this country.
McClaren is Derby County’s new head coach following a three-month stint working under Harry Redknapp at Queen’s Park Rangers.
Part one of his CV is highly impressive.
He was first-team coach at Derby in the mid-Nineties, then assistant manager to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Middlesbrough’s most successful boss before being appointed England manager. He also guided Dutch club FC Twente to their first ever league title.
But McClaren’s last three jobs have not worked out.
He was sacked by German club VfL Wolfsburg, he resigned as Nottingham Forest manager after only 111 days without a home league victory before a second term at Twente failed to reproduce his earlier success at the club.
Those, plus his time as England manager, are blots on his career.
“Football, especially nowadays, is very up and down and this is normal in a career. I have had a lot of highs and a lot of lows, but this is normal,” said McClaren who has signed a two and a half year deal at Derby.
“I have had my experiences after England, fantastic experiences, some good, some bad,” he said.
McClaren holds his hands up to making mistakes at Forest.
“I did not know the situation going in, I got surprised by that,” he said.
“I tried to change things too quickly, wanting too much too soon. I didn’t really adapt, and that is important.
“That was my mistake, nobody else’s. You learn from your mistakes.
“I rushed things, I didn’t bide my time. When you rush in football, you can trip up.
“With age we become a little bit wiser, hopefully, and hopefully more patient!
“Here at Derby, I know exactly the situation I am coming into.
“I know what I have got control off, what I have not got control of in terms of resources and what is here already.
“I also have more knowledge of the Championship now having worked at QPR, at Nottingham, and watched it.
Asked if he feared not be given another chance following his experiences at Forest and second time round at FC Twente, McClaren replied: “Football is flavour of the day, the year.
“In my first two years at Middlesbrough everybody said I was hopeless. It took me three years to get a handle on that job. After that, we won the club’s first trophy and got to the UEFA Cup final.
“Yes, I can coach and I can also manage. I have proved I can be successful, and proved I can also fail.
“It was important for me to come back to England.
“I had opportunities and I could have stayed abroad.
“I feel my reputation is better abroad in Europe than it is in England. So I wanted to come back.
“QPR and Harry Redknapp were fantastic to give me the opportunity to go in and coach. That was a big call by Harry.
“He gave me the opportunity to come back to English football.”
McClaren says the Derby job is not about proving himself again.
“Football and coaching is in my blood, working with players and building teams,” he added.
“What I want to do, wherever I work, I want to bring success to that club, for the fans, for the board and for the people who put their trust in me to take the club forward.
“That is what I do it for, not to prove a point to myself or to anybody else.
“Time heals, and it will.
“I have got a great opportunity at Derby to start something we hope will be big.”