Steve McClaren: Derby boss 'made mistakes' at Forest

McClaren praises predecessor Clough

Derby County boss Steve McClaren says he has learned from the mistakes he made during an ill-fated 112-day stint as manager of rivals Nottingham Forest.

McClaren, 52, was appointed Rams boss on Monday, almost two years to the day he resigned from his City Ground job.

"I made mistakes [at Forest] and didn't read the situation well enough," McClaren told BBC East Midlands Today.

"I tried to change things too quickly. I wanted it tomorrow. I was too anxious and too ambitious."

The former England manager believes he has a better understanding of what is required at Derby and says he wants to be challenging to get into the Premier League within the period of his two-and-a-half-year contract.

"Here, I know the situation. I know what money they have got. I know what they want to do. I know we have to challenge and I know how they want to build the club," he said.

"I know that I can't change things rapidly. It's not overnight change.

"It's looking at everything and saying we have two-and-a-half years to build this club up to get it challenging to go into the Premier League. Any time in that two-and-a-half years."

Prior to the season, chief executive Sam Rush has talked about the club's eagerness to challenge for promotion this term and Clough was sacked following the derby defeat against Forest with the club 14th in the Championship.

However, McClaren was quick to praise his Pride Park predecessor.

"Nigel has done a terrific job," McClaren said. "I have full respect for Nigel, his staff, what he has done with the academy, the young players coming through and the style of football they play here.

"Over four or five years he has stabilised and developed this club and he has got it on a sound footing.

"The club have decided to change direction and try to develop that and that's why I am here. We shall try to continue the development of of players he has brought through, bring in new players and try to get this place buzzing again."

McClaren, a former Rams player and coach, was also thrilled to be able to appoint Paul Simpson and Eric Steele to his coaching staff, who also have strong links with Derby.

"It's important that you have people here who know what Derby can be like, what the fans are like and what the town is like, and in Paul Simpson and Eric Steele I have that," he said.

"Paul was a player here and Eric was a player and a coach. He has been at Manchester United, he has worked with the top players and has a great amount of experience.

"They know what Derby people and the fans are all about - and I do. And I hope that gives us an advantage because we know what they want. We want to put players out there who get them off their seats.

"Hopefully success will follow. That's what happened when I was here with Jim Smith and when I was a player here with Arthur Cox. they were fantastic days. I have seen good times at Derby and know what happens when this town gets rocking."

Steele was also thrilled to be returning to the Rams.

"It's an absolute honour," he said. "I have never left the area anyway. I am like a lot of the players and coaches that have been here - they don't tend to leave this area. There has to be something about it and it's to do with the people and Derbyshire is a lovely county.

"I have still got a massive affinity with the club so I am very honoured to be asked to come back and hopefully play a part in the next stage of Derby County's development.

"This was a job I really couldn't afford to miss.

"The club is stable on and off the field. But the major part is winning football matches. Nigel has done a great job. When he came in he had to stabilise this football club and he has done that.

"What we are saying now is, 'Can we now take it to the next level?' That is what we are aiming to do."

Listen to Monday night's BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene Talk-In programme with former Rams players Roger Davies and Craig Ramage.