JOHN Eustace says you only have to look at Steve McClaren’s CV to recognise what a boost he could be for Derby County.
McClaren has taken over as the Rams head coach, writing a new chapter in a career that has seen him manage England as well as coach at Manchester United.
His reign at the Rams – where he was coach under manager Jim Smith in the 1990s – got off to a winning start on Saturday with a 3-1 home win against Leeds United.
And Eustace believes the current international break will give McClaren time to get over more of his ideas ahead of the Rams’ next game at Watford on October 19.
“It gives the new manager time to work with the team,” said Eustace. “We can learn our jobs a bit more and take it from there.
“At the end of the day he has managed England, he has coached Manchester United, he is a massive name in football for managing and coaching,
“The lads can learn from that. Hopefully, he can help everyone out and improve the team and the squad and we can take it from there.”
Eustace is also confident McClaren has a good base to work from thanks to the foundations laid by Nigel Clough, who was sacked as manager following the recent 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
“Nigel has done a fantastic job here over the past five years,” said Eustace.
“He has brought all the players in, he has created a good atmosphere in the dressing room. He has certainly left the club with a very good set of lads and a very good squad.
“But he’s gone now and that’s football I’m afraid. We have to put that aside now and think forward, think about the new manager and take it from there.”
Eustace was back in the starting line-up against Leeds, playing alongside Will Hughes and Craig Bryson in a midfield three. And that followed his appearance as a half-time substitute in the previous game against Ipswich Town, when he helped the Rams recover from 4-1 down to draw 4-4.
But he believes it will still be a battle to keep his place in the Rams midfield, especially once the injured Jeff Hendrick and Paul Coutts are back in action.
“Will and Craig are top players but when Jeff and Coutts comes back they are top players as well so the midfield is very strong here, I knew that when I came to the club,” said Eustace.
“The club is in good hands there. Will is a top player, he is one of the top young talents in the country and you saw that against Leeds.
“I just play my game and take it from there. It’s a squad game and the squad here is very good. At the moment, whoever comes in and plays I’m sure will do a very good job. We’re all professional and I enjoy playing football, so if I can play then great.”