- The Championship
McClaren poised for Derby job
Steve McClaren is expected to be confirmed the new Derby County manager in the next 24 hours.
The former England manager is understood to be ready to sign a two-and-a-half year contract as Nigel Clough's replacement at Pride Park and could be unveiled before Tuesday's Championship home game against Ipswich Town.
Clough was sacked as the Championship's longest serving manager on Saturday evening, following the 1-0 defeat to his former club Nottingham Forest and has been placed on gardening leave along with the whole of his backroom team.
McClaren has been part of Harry Redknapp's coaching staff at Queens Park Rangers, on a short-term contract, but has held talks with Derby's chief executive Sam Rush and expressed his desire to return to his former club.
He played for Derby and was a coach under Jim Smith before moving to Manchester United to be part of Sir Alex Ferguson's backroom team.
The former Nottingham Forest and FC Twente manager is keen to be a number one again after missing out on the England under-21 post and his strong coaching credentials have been the main motivation for Derby's American owners to make him their number one target.
Rush set a play-off target for Clough at the start of the season - despite Clough spending less than £1m on new players in the summer and he wants McClaren to transform Derby into Premier League contenders in double quick time.
"We are grateful to Nigel for his hard work over the last five years and for how he has steadied the ship and created a club and team that has competed largely in the middle of the Championship," said Rush.
"It is our view and desire for Derby County to get to the top of the Championship and get into the Premier League. That is our motivation and that is why we have made the change.
"To drive the club forward that little bit quicker to see if we can get to the top of the league and out of this league a little more quickly."
The club also confirmed that following the departure of Clough, Coaches Andy Garner, Gary Crosby, Johnny Metgod and Martin Taylor as well as chief scout Simon Clough have been placed on gardening leave.
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