One of the reasons Derby County sacked Paul Clement

Derby County dismissed Clement in a surprise move earlier this month.

One of the reasons Derby County parted ways with Paul Clement was due to his reluctance to integrate academy players, HITC Sport understands.

Clement was sacked by the Rams earlier this month after less than a season in charge, despite the club sitting in the play-offs.

The principle reason for his dismissal may have been the seven game run without a win, but his failure to utilise the club's academy was a factor, HITC Sport understands from a source close to the situation.

Owner Mel Morris is said to have been frustrated at Clement's attitude to the under-21 squad. The under-21s were not invited to train with the first team, while Clement was rarely seen at games.

Derby cited Clement failing to commit to the 'Derby Way' during their explanation for the decision to fire the former Real Madrid assistant, and the lack of engagement with under-21 players was noted by the club owner.

Intriguingly Clement's temporary replacement until the end of the season is Darren Wassall, the former head of academy, and while the Rams are in an intense battle for promotion, the club's best young prospects should stand a better chance of breaking into the first team with him in charge than Clement.

Derby's under-21 side sit top of their division with 35 points from 17 games, five clear of second placed Arsenal, and above the likes of West Ham, Aston Villa and West Brom.

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