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Steve McClaren - Derby County facing big week

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 23, 2014

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STEVE McClaren has challenged Derby County's players to start what he describes as a "big week" on the right note, writes Steve Nicholson.

The Rams face three consecutive home games as they look to improve on a faltering start to the season.

They face relegated Fulham today and Ipswich Town next Saturday. Charlton Athletic visit in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

Charlton inflicted Derby's first defeat of the season in the league at the Valley a few days ago.

McClaren was disappointed by the manner of the defeat in which Derby conceded three poor goals.

"We had been keeping clean sheets and defending well, and praising the defenders, but we made mistakes and conceded goals," said McClaren.

"We are not getting consistency of performance over 90 minutes. We are looking good in some spells, not in others.

"The attitude of the players is excellent. The fitness levels are very good, we are out-running opponents, but it is just getting back to the levels we know individually and collectively that we can reach.

"That is difficult at the beginning of a season.

"It can be frustrating, and we have to ignore that frustration and make sure we keep clean sheets because we can score goals."

McClaren has called on his players to respond to the Charlton setback.

"We are not reaching the levels we achieved last season," he said. "We have set a high bar, a high standard, and we need to regain that consistency.

"The most important thing now is that we see a reaction from the players, that is the key thing.

"We can lose games, but we cannot lose them the way we did at Charlton.

"We have to make sure we get back to doing what we do best.

"Fulham is a big game and this is a big week with three home games. We have to start well."

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