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Steve McClaren staying patient over new Derby County signings

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 07, 2014

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DERBY County will be patient in their search for new faces to strengthen the squad, according to head coach Steve McClaren.

Adding a holding midfielder and a right back are high on McClaren’s wanted list.

The Rams are keen to land George Thorne from West Bromwich Albion and have had bids rejected for Simon Francis, say his club Bournemouth.

Thorne impressed in the Rams’ midfield during his loan spell last season and he has had two transfer requests turned down by West Brom.

The Baggies report back for training this week under new boss Alan Irvine. who is faced with sorting out Thorne’s future.

McClaren (pictured) was non-committal when asked how long he is prepared to wait for Thorne.

“I don’t know, it depends on a lot of things, but we have to wait,” he said.

“We have a few more friendly games and then we will see where we go, but I am delighted with the squad.

“The players are great to work with.

“We will just go with what we have got and keep trying for others.

“We will be patient and make sure we get the right players.”

McClaren said the club had three or four targets in their search for a right back.

The position was filled last season by Andre Wisdom, who has returned to Liverpool.

Wisdom was on loan and McClaren believes the loan market could benefit Derby again.

“There will be one or two decent loans to come out of the Premier League teams,” he said.

Derby have signed defenders Zak Whitbread and Lee Naylor, as well as players for the future in Alban Bunjaku, Alefes Santos and Jonathan Mitchell.

Paul Coutts is fit again after a lengthy injury lay-off last season and McClaren is delighted to see the midfielder back.

“It’s a bonus,” added McClaren.

“I have seen his quality in training already, so it is a great boost not just for him but for the team.

“He is a great asset and a great lad.”

SKIPPER Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Simon Dawkins are expected to be handed their first action of pre-season tomorrow night.

The trio have sat out Derby County’s first two friendlies against Matlock Town and Ilkeston after returning to training a week later than the rest of the squad.

They were given an extra week due to international commitments last month. Keogh and Hendrick were on duty with the Republic of Ireland in the United States, Dawkins played for Jamaica.

Derby face Nuneaton Town tomorrow and first-team coach Paul Simpson said: “The three of them have trained since Wednesday and they will join the rest of the group on Monday.

“I expect all three to be involved in the game at Nuneaton.”

Will Hughes and John Eustace were again absent as Derby played out a goalless draw at Ilkeston’s New Manor Ground on Saturday.

Midfielders Craig Bryson and Paul Coutts also missed the game but Simpson said the players’ absence should not concern supporters.

“They were all left out because of little niggles,” added Simpson.

“Rather than take a chance and get them playing and risk making things worse, we thought it best to rest them.”

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