STEVE McClaren believes Saturday’s eye-catching Championship clash against Burnley will provide another gauge for Derby County’s promotion hopes this season.
Derby head to Turf Moor knowing a victory would see them leap-frog Burnley into second place and occupy one of the two automatic promotion slots.
The Rams will travel armed with the second-best away record in the division to face a team with the second-best home record.
“This is a big test for us to see how far we have come,” said McClaren, who has suffered only three defeats in 23 league games since he was appointed head coach at the beginning of October.
“Many teams have gone to Burnley this season and nobody has won.
“They beat a very good Nottingham Forest team on Saturday, so it will be a big test,” added McClaren.
“Whoever wins or loses, it will not change much because there is still a long way to go, but it will give us a good indication for the rest of the season.”
Derby are unbeaten in seven matches since they lost 4-1 against leaders Leicester City at the King Power Stadium last month.
They have won five and drawn two of the seven games.
McClaren is keen to see how his team tackles the test offered by Burnley, especially after their last “big test” ended painfully at the hands of Leicester.
“It will not necessarily be about the points, more about the performance,” he said.
“I say that because it is a bit like the Leicester test, and we did not do very well in that.
“So I am interested to see how the team does.”