Derby will be one of the favourites for promotion into the Premier League when the Championship returns in a few weeks, as they deal with the challenge of adapting to the demands and expectations of a new manager.
There is a very real risk that Derby may not fire at the start of the season as they adjust to Paul Clement’s message, with a new looking side and a fresh chance to make an impression.
“We are still trying to get fit and get used to the tactics that the boss wants,” he told the Derby Telegraph.
“The boys are more than capable of doing all this and putting it altogether to get it right.”
“We have had a couple of weeks now of really intense training and the boys have looked really good, really strong.”
A test for Clement
Clement is going to face a real test if the Rams get off to a difficult start.
He’s been backed with some very good players arriving in the transfer market and that creates a pressure and an expectation for the club to do well and instantly compete.
The test comes for Clement in terms of how he handles the squad, motivates them and also adapts himself in order to get results moving in the right direction.
He’s also got to back his senior players to step up and do their specific jobs around the squad, to take some of the pressure away from the gaffer.
They should also ensure that everyone is staying focused through pre-season to be in the best possible shape for the next game and the next challenge.