The Rams remain in a good position to compete for Premier League promotion and McClaren’s outburst seemed to have the desired impact because Derby were much better in the second half of the game after trailing 3-1 at the break.
“The gaffer came in at half-time and let rip. He said that we had to look at ourselves,” said McClaren.
“He was the angriest I've seen him since I've been here but he expects the best of us. He expects us to perform well every game and that's what we expect of ourselves.”
McClaren’s frustrations are understandable because the side had started to put together a decent run of results following an extended period where they slipped down from the top of the Championship table.
However, it’s another match unbeaten, extending the current run to five games since the Rams last suffered a defeat.
Some managers back off from being overly aggressive with their players because of the fragile mentality and egos that some players have.
However, McClaren seems to have judged the situation well, urging his team to watch their backs because the current gap to the sides chasing a position in the top six is only four points.
Next up for the Rams is a game against Millwall, which will be difficult with the London based side fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.