The paper states that the Derby boss held a two hour meeting with the club’s medical team, which revealed a number of facts that he wasn’t willing to disclose.
However, he has hinted at what was discussed during the meeting, suggesting that the constant pile up of football over the first half of the campaign, made his players more prone to injuries after the turn of the year.
“Some of the facts have been very interesting. I cannot reveal them all but very interesting,” he said.
“The overall conclusion to everything was the short break after Wembley, a tough start to the season, the amount of games and the 11 or 12 players leaving us on international breaks.”
“It was continuous football, especially in the first seven months.”
Derby would have been massively disappointed to have missed out on the top six at the end of last year and it’s important that the club gets into a good position to start the new campaign well this August.
The pile up of matches across all competitions domestically, as well as the demands on players from international breaks, is not going to end any time soon.
It’s become a key feature of the schedule in England, but if McClaren can keep the majority of the squad together, he will have a core of players very experienced with the demands of playing their football under pressure from constant fixtures.
A few new signings and a refreshed approach from the medical team and Derby will be ready to go.