Steve McClaren believes Aston Villa are 'sleeping giant', but won't replace Lambert

Steve McClaren

Derby County manager Steve McClaren acknowledged that the Aston Villa job is a great opportunity, but won't leave the Rams.

After a terrible season, Aston Villa have finally parted company with manager Paul Lambert - just five months after they handed the Scot a new contract.

Villa's 2-0 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday night proved to be Lambert's final game in charge, bringing an end to his two-and-a-half year stint at Villa Park.

Having gone ten games without a win, Villa are rooted in the relegation zone, but the malaise of Lambert's reign extends much further than just results.

A turgid brand of football has reaped just 12 goals in 25 games, which is by far the lowest total in the Premier League this season.

Now, owner Randy Lerner must find a replacement - and Derby's Steve McClaren had been touted as a possible candidate.

However, the former England boss has told Sky Sports that, whilst Aston Villa could be a 'sleeping giant', he doesn't want to leave the Rams and their push for promotion to the Premier League.

"I have a job to do here and I’m solely focusing on trying to get Derby into the Premier League," said McClaren. "We’ve got a very, very good chance and everything else is speculation. We’ve got 16 games to go and have a chance of achieving what we want to achieve and I’m not going to walk away from it.”

"No doubt who goes in, it is a very good job, a big job and a sleeping giant. And someone is going to be very lucky to get that," he added.

McClaren has impressed with Derby, winning 61% of his games in charge of the club since replacing Nigel Clough in September 2013.

The Rams are up in third place in the Championship, and are just one spot off top spot - meaning Derby and Villa could well be swapping divisions come May.

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