McClaren explains his intentions for Derby County's attack

Steve McClaren

Derby County boss Steve McClaren has detailed why he wants to partner Darren Bent and Chris Martin.

Derby County boss Steve McClaren has been quoted by the Burton Mail explain his plan for the side’s attack.

Derby have one of the strongest attacking units in the Championship and McClaren has detailed what he feels is the best combination up front.

“We are looking to play him (Darren Bent) and Chris Martin together, maybe starting them or him coming on to give opponents something to think about,” said McClaren.

“Darren proved himself a threat playing on the shoulders of defenders. By doing that, he gives us a different option.”

“Whereas Chrissy Martin doesn't always run in behind defences and so we don't always get that penetration, we always had that with Darren.”

The quotes are significant because they show McClaren is actively thinking about different ways the attack can stay effective in big games.

When they play together, they can make it difficult for the opposition defence to adjust and pressure them accordingly.

Any opposition can’t press to stop Martin getting on the ball because Bent can exploit the space in behind, but if they back off then Martin is free to go and pick up possession before turning and attacking.

Even if they don’t play together, they can still form different options for McClaren, with one coming off of the bench to provide a different sort of threat late into a game.

However, the more they play together, the better their understanding will become and they can play off of each other effectively, judging certain runs and movements, which should help both players create and get on the end of more chances.

Derby have a game in hand and if they win it, they’ll be joint top of the Championship and in a great position with a heavyweight attack to see off various challenges over the rest of the season.

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