Mel Morris responds when asked whether Paul Clement can emulate Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson

Derby chairman Mel Morris has backed Paul Clement to be a long-standing success.

Derby County chairman Mel Morris has told BBC Sport that Rams boss Paul Clement could become like Sir Alex Ferguson at the iPro Stadium.

Clement was lured from Real Madrid over the summer, as Derby landed an ambitious appointment following the exit of Steve McClaren at the end of last season.

Former Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain coach Clement has long had a huge reputation in football, and after a slow start to his time as Rams boss, he is now finding his feet in the Championship.

With seven wins and two draws in their last nine games, Derby have hit top form under Clement as they pursue Premier League football - and having spent so much money over the summer, promotion is certainly the goal for Clement and Derby.

Now, Rams chairman Mel Morris has been asked by BBC Sport whether Clement could become Derby's equivalent to Sir Alex Ferguson - and the Derby-born businessman didn't rule out the prospect.

"I actually think he could," said Morris. "Paul has an opportunity to help shape how we run this club. If you look at what we are trying to build at Derby, I think Alex Ferguson defined the culture and the philosophy at Manchester United because he had that long-term tenure."

"I am not sure of the background and how much of that came from the club, but he became the way the club operated. In a similar way, here Paul has an opportunity to help shape how we run this club and I would like that, providing he has a strong enough hand in doing that with us, that he will help build something he would want to stay with. And at the age Paul is at, then why not?" he added.

Ferguson's remarkable 26-and-a-half year spell as Manchester United boss reaped 895 wins 1500 games, whilst he also clinched 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups and two Champions League titles as he became one of the greatest managers in history.

Managers rarely get that amount of time to build something in the modern era, but Morris seems confident that 43-year-old Clement can enjoy a similar run at the iPro Stadium - and winning trophies would certainly aid that claim, just as it did for Ferguson at Old Trafford.

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