HEAD coach Steve McClaren has challenged Derby County’s players to build on their impressive second-half show against Ipswich when they face Leeds United at Pride Park tomorrow, kick-off 3pm.
Derby stormed back to draw 4-4 with Ipswich on Tuesday night but they remain without a home win in the Championship this season.
A 4-1 deficit was erased and the response of the players delighted McClaren, who felt the team took a small step forward in rescuing a point.
“The players are buoyant and in a positive mood after the second half on Tuesday,” he said.
“The energy and the attitude we asked for at half-time was there. The football we asked for they delivered, and they got the rewards with the goals.
“We finished the game on a high, and that was important. The fans saw a glimpse, and I am sure they have seen it before, of what the team can do.”
Leeds will be McClaren’s first game in charge of Derby since his appointment at the beginning of the week, following the sacking of Nigel Clough last Saturday.
Derby are looking for a 10th straight victory over Leeds, a remarkable record, but McClaren was not keen to be told that. “Thank you very much!” he smiled.
“History and past results mean nothing to me. It is what happens on Saturday that matters.
“I never look at runs like that, I never take it into account. I always believe we can win the next game, and Leeds will be saying the same.”
Skipper and centre back Richard Keogh is available again after serving a one-match suspension for his red card against Nottingham Forest and Kieron Freeman is back in the squad.