McClaren says the Rams are making things more difficult for themselves, but feels that they are rising to the challenge in the face of adversity.
“We keep giving ourselves a mountain to climb – and the players keep climbing it,” said the Derby boss.
“We've had adversity on and off the field and I really can't believe the fight and character of this team.”
Derby may be making hard work of everything at the moment, but the team is battling well and should finish the season with a position in the play-off places.
Derby have been very consistent over the course of a long season and it would be a shame considering the patches they have battled through if they didn’t end the season with a place in the top six.
One of the biggest challenges in recent weeks has been injury problems, but the side have found a way to get results and keep their play-off position.
The battling qualities are important because of how much of a lottery the play-offs can be.
Derby also have the extra added determination of losing to QPR last season and it’s important they keep their cool over the final weekend of the season and then the three games they could play as they look to get back into the Premier League.