Could former England boss be heading for the Premier League with Derby?

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren's Derby County side beat QPR 1-0 last night and are now just one point off the automatic promotion places.

It has been seven years since we last saw Steve McClaren at the top table in England. And that is not including his ill-fated stint as England manager.

In that time, however, the 52-year-old has done himself no harm with various jobs around Europe.

McClaren's record since has been hit and miss - but the 'hits' have certainly been impressive. Famously, the former Man United assistant won the Eredivisie with FC Twente, even though a second spell at the Dutch club proved brief.

The 52-year-old also endured miserable tenures at Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest, before rebuilding his reputation alongside Harry Redknapp at QPR.

But where McClaren is perhaps doing himself most credit is in his latest job - at Derby - where the Rams are now just a point off the automatic promotion places.

And McClaren's latest victory has come at the hands of former colleague Redknapp, with a John Eustace header securing three vital points at QPR's expense last night.

Suddenly, the promised land of the Premier League does not look so far off.

Although second-placed Burnley and third-placed Queens Park Rangers have a game in hand, Derby are a solitary point behind both and have lost just twice in 10 matches. They will have the chance to directly challenge Burnley for their promotion place when they visit Turf Moor on 1 March.

For QPR, meanwhile, Monday's defeat makes it two games without a win, while their previously infallible back four is being breached more and more.

Their promotion bid is by no means derailing, with their defence still the best in the Championship - but their lack of goals is certainly hurting them.

Along with Leicester, who have built up a sizeable lead at the top of the division, McClaren could be the man to profit. And we could be seeing him back in the Premier League very soon.

Will Derby secure automatic promotion this season, or will they have to go through the play-offs? 

image: © Ureinwohner

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