06:00 Friday 14 February 2014

Gareth Southgate impressed with Derby County fans

Written bySPORTS REPORTER

DELS20070629D-078_C.JPG Picture: Lucy Shaw.Derby County v Chelsea FA Cup match 0-2.Picture shows Derby County fans before the match DELS20070629D-078_C.JPG Picture: Lucy Shaw.Derby County v Chelsea FA Cup match 0-2.Picture shows Derby County fans before the match

GARETH Southgate has first-hand experience of how Derby County supporters can back England.

He played in the 4-0 victory over Mexico in front of a sell-out crowd at Pride Park Stadium in May 2001.

“It was a brilliant night, a full house and a fantastic atmosphere. I am more than aware of the type of event that can be created Derby,” he said.

Now manager of the England Under-21s, Southgate is full of praise for Derby’s head coach Steve McClaren – his former boss at Middlesbrough – who is giving young English players a chance to develop.

“The experience at Derby is in the dugout with Steve, Paul Simpson and Eric Steele – super people and very experienced and good at what they do,” said Southgate.

“You can see a little bit of the influence that Steve has had from working in Holland in the way Derby want to play from the back. The players seem very clear about their roles and responsibilities.

“So for the guys at Derby (Will Hughes, Andre Wisdom and Patrick Bamford) to be able to work with Steve is great.

“I thought Derby was a great fit for Steve.”

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