McClaren critiques Derby performances but says they're improving now

Steve McClaren

Derby County manager Steve McClaren says that his side's performances at the start of the season fell way below their usual standards.

Derby County manager Steve McClaren believes that his side are not playing at their full potential yet.

Despite climbing to 6th in the table with some good form of late, McClaren still feels there is more to come from the team. 

"At times I think individually and collectively early on in the season in our performances were dipping below 70 per cent," he said to the club's official site.

“I think in the last four games, from individuals and the team, we’ve seen it increase to 75, 80 and even 90 per cent.

“We haven’t quite reached the heights of last season, when we were around the 95 per cent mark, but I believe this team will grow and get stronger the longer season goes on.”

Derby are unbeaten in their last eight games and have shown the exact qualities which saw them instilled as the bookies' favourites before the start of the season.

The Rams were very unfortunate not to gain promotion last campaign, when they dominated the playoff final only to lose in the last minute to QPR, but they are determined to pick themselves up from that disappointment this time around. 

McClaren's side took a while to get going, but as they move up through the gears they look more comfortable and they are starting to show the signs which made them such a threat.

The former England manager has got the side playing with creativity, tempo and flair and, as a result, defences across the league have struggled to cope.

A win against Bolton Wanderers launched them into the play-off places last weekend, but they will have their eyes firmly placed on the automatic places as the season progresses.

The gap to the top two is currently three points and Derby will be looking to close that when they take on Bournemouth tonight.

The Cherries are a good team, but McClaren's men go into the game as the favourites and they will be aiming to extend their unbeaten record by putting in a 100% performance. 

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