Football

Return of the Mac. Take two

Steve McClaren has been appointed the new Head Coach of Derby County for the second time in three years. 

After the strange dismissal of Niger Pearson, who lasted only three months at the club, McClaren arrives back at the Ipro in all to familiar fashion. 

Back in October of 2013, when Steve McClaren succeeded the long reigning tenure of Nigel Clough, Derby it appeared were again heading for another mid-table finish. The timing was right, Clough had taken Derby County as far as it seemed possible, but it isn’t right to overlook the incredible work he and his backroom staff accomplished.

Ever since the embarrassing Premiership season off 2007, Derby County has been a club stuck in the black hole of the SkyBet Championship. Arguably the hardest division to escape from in the right direction, when your time comes around you have to take it. Especially given the riches now on offer in the Premier League. 

Owner and lifelong supporter of the club, Mel Morris, has invested heavily into the playing squad and club as a whole, following the disappointment of Wembley in McClarens first year. 

Brand new training facilities, unique playing surface, match day entertainment, fan engagement, all new and innovative ways to help the club reach the promise land. 

Despite the vast improvements off the pitch, Mel Morris’ on field investment looks less impressive. The additions of Bradley Johnson and Jacob Butterfield are yet to find their best form. Nick Blackman, Abdoul Camara, all les than satisfactory thus far.

McClarens last stint at the club ended somewhat with dark clouds overhead, as Newcastle looked to survive the drop into the Championship, whilst Derby attempted to chase down a playoff spot. Speculation circled liked sharks around a shoal of fish and low and behold the rumours were neither confirmed nor denied by the Derby ‘legend’.

As this saga went on off the pitch, on the pitch performances deteriorated drastically. Mel Morris felt that the failure to clinch a playoff spot wasn’t acceptable, relieving McClaren off his duties, weeks before agreeing to takeover the Toon. 

Three managers later, Mel Morris and the board of Derby a County clearly feel McClaren is the best option to take this underachieving club forward. 

Sitting one place above the drop zone, Leeds United visiting the IPro next, McClaren has a task on his ha do to turn fortunes around.

Fan favourite Chris Powell will remain on the coaching staff as Assistant Manager whilst Kevin Phillips and Pascal Zuberhuler will also retain their contracts. 

All hands are on deck now as Derby County look to rekindle the near glory of only a few seasons ago. 

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