STEVE McClaren has heaped praise on chief executive Sam Rush as Derby County prepare for their Wembley date.
Derby face Queen’s Park Rangers in the Championship play-off final on May 24 looking to secure a place in the Premier League next season.
McClaren was appointed head coach at the beginning of October after the Rams sacked Nigel Clough with the team 14th in the division.
Clough had been in charge for more than four-and-a-half years.
Derby went on to finish third and beat Brighton convincingly in their play-off semi-final to book a date at Wembley.
McClaren is delighted to have taken Derby to Wembley, but insists he is more delighted for Rush, the players and the fans.
“Sam Rush deserves a lot of credit for what has happened at this football club,” said McClaren.
“He took a brave decision to bring in myself, Paul Simpson and Eric Steele – a brave decision that took a lot of courage.
“For me, I am probably more delighted for him that he has got his reward for that decision.
“I am delighted for the players.
“I love working with this group, they are a great bunch to work with.
“We have also excited the fans, and that is what we wanted to achieve. We have achieved that.
“We and the players have kept our humility. We have been humble, we have never gloated.
“We have done things the right way, and we play the right way.”