Derby County: Steve McClaren thought Craig Bryson would leave

Craig Bryson
Midfielder Bryson has been named as Derby County's player of the season in two of his three years at the club

Derby County manager Steve McClaren has admitted that he is surprised Craig Bryson has not left club this summer.

Burnley had an offer for the midfielder rejected and there was interest from QPR before Bryson, 27, signed a new five-year contract.

McClaren told BBC Radio Derby: "It's a great boost - because we thought we'd lost him. We didn't think we'd keep hold of him.

"Everybody worked hard on him. In the end he stays. It's like a new signing."

Bryson scored 16 goals for the Rams last season as they narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight.

They finished third in the table before being beaten by a last-minute goal by QPR in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Derby have managed to keep their key players, with England Under-21 international midfielder Will Hughes, Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick and defenders Craig Forsyth and Jake Buxton also signing new deals.

"To get offered a five-year deal is unbelievable and especially to do it at such a big club like Derby," said Bryson.

"I think I've shown my commitment to everybody. Sometimes you're at the right club. I had the chance to go to the Premier League, but I chose to stay at Derby.

"I just decided that I wanted to be at Derby and be a part of what we're creating here."

Bryson has played 134 matches and found the net 27 times since arriving at the iPro Stadium from Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock in 2011.