McClaren reveals cautious message he gave to Bent after hauling him off

Derby County manager Steve McClaren didn't want to risk Aston Villa loanee Darren Bent when his side took on Blackpool last night.

Derby County manager Steve McClaren has summed up the caution that the club are having to show at the moment with his comments on the club's official website.

McClaren saw his Derby side hammer Blackpool 4-0 last night, and his comments to Darren Bent after substituting him were particularly revealing.

Bent, who is currently at Derby on loan from Aston Villa, was on a hat-trick in the match, but McClaren did not want to risk using him for too long and decided to bring him off before he was able to claim the match-ball.

It highlights the way McClaren is having to manage at present, with the Rams clearly fearful of picking up further injury problems before the season comes to a close.

“Benty ran through and he missed the chance for his hat trick, so we said that was your last chance - now get off and save yourself for Saturday! We will wrap him in cotton wool and keep him fit," McClaren said.

Derby have seen the impact that injuries can have this season, with Chris Martin, George Thorne and Bent missing sizeable chunks of the campaign.

The absence of said trio at various stages combined to derail Derby's automatic promotion push, and it seems that McClaren is taking every precaution to ensure that he has everyone fit for the play-offs.

Derby are one of the strongest teams in the Championship on their day and will be looking to prove that by seeing off several competitors en route to claiming a place in the Premier League in May.

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