The Rams were one of the top candidates to gain automatic promotion to the Premier League just a few weeks ago, but they are now in danger of not even making the playoffs.
McClaren’s side are currently fifth in the Championship table with 67 points from 39 matches, six points behind leaders Bournemouth and just a point ahead of seventh-placed Brentford.
The main reason behind Derby’s struggles in recent weeks is the injury to star striker Chris Martin, who has scored 16 goals and created 47 chances in 30 league games so far this season.
With Aston Villa-owned January signing Darren Bent also spending time on the sidelines, Derby have struggled to score regularly.
It has now been reported by The Sun that some of the Derby players are confused as to why McClaren has not changed his strategy.
“But McClaren’s refusal to adapt his tactics, which depend so heavily on a target man, has left some players scratching their heads,” stated the report in The Sun.
“And sources also suggest question marks over the former England boss’ future following interest from Newcastle and Sunderland have been an unwanted distraction.”
McClaren does need to change his tactics and come up with a good strategy in the coming days in order to ascertain that Derby finish the season in the playoffs at least.
Derby will take on Watford at the iPro Stadium in the Championship on Friday and then face Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Monday.
These two matches will be crucial in deciding the Rams’ fate. Even if not playing well, if Derby can pick up six points from these games, then they will be back on track for a top-two finish this season.