Steve McClaren’s meteoric rise with Derby County in the past year has been nothing short of outstanding. The former England boss guided the Rams from 14th position in the league table to third last season and saw them, convincingly, to the Championship play-off final. However, as often the case in football, their big day was ruined as Bobby Zamora scored against the run of play to send Queens Park Rangers into Premier League.
Nevertheless, the Derby manager was able to look back at the positives the club had in the season and with a fresh message to both fans and players he reiterated that they must go back to square one and start again. The Rams, now ten games into the new season, are sat in fourth position and look a good bet to put up a strong fight for the Championship league title this time round.
"It’s been a good 12 months. There’s been some really, really good highs and, as normal in football, some lows, and big lows," McClaren told dcfc.co.uk
"As normal with myself, it has been a rollercoaster ride, but I’m pleased with what we have achieved in the year in terms of how the club has developed – both on and off the field – and the future looks very bright.
"Football evolves so quick, we forgot about that [the play-off final], we dealt with it and we moved on and we have to start again."
Now, after effectively completing a full season in charge of the Rams, we take a look at Steve McClaren’s impact at the iPro Stadium and see what indication it gives supporters for the future.
League games played: 46
League points: 92
Points per game ratio: 2 points per game
League goals scored: 85
League goals conceded: 45
Goal difference: +40
The numbers behind McClaren’s reign, when written out, are astonishing and deserve a great amount of credit. Although the 92 point haul wouldn’t have seen the Rams automatically promoted last season – Leicester finished on 102 and Burnley 93 – it would have seen the Rams crowned Champions the season before. A fantastic achievement considering before his arrival they were considered a mid-table Championship side.
The number of goals the Rams have scored has been well documented and doesn’t need any more publicity. However, the number of goals they’ve conceded – 35 – which is less than a goal a game, is often overlooked and also deserves a lot of credit.
McClaren’s Derby County side will be hoping to go one better this season and achieve automatic promotion, maybe even a league title, and judging by their form over the past 12-months few people can disagree they will be there or thereabouts.