Derby County: Steve McClaren unconcerned by league standings

Steve McClaren
Derby County won 24 of the 41 games that McClaren was in charge of last season

Derby County boss Steve McClaren says he is ignoring the early Championship standings after their third draw in six league matches.

The 10th-placed Rams remained five points adrift of leaders Nottingham Forest following Sunday's hard-fought 1-1 draw at the City Ground.

"We can't be looking at the league table," McClaren told BBC Radio Derby.

"It is just a case of the players showing in every performance, every game, what we are capable of doing."

Rams share the points
16 Aug: 0-0 v Sheffield Wednesday (A)
30 Aug: 1-1 v Ipswich Town (H)
14 Sep: 1-1 v Nottingham Forest (A)

Derby, who have lost just once in all competitions so far this term, are the only side in the top 10 to win less than three of their opening six Championship matches.

They dropped their first points of the season at home to Ipswich Town before the international break, having previously beaten Rotherham and thrashed Fulham 5-1 at the iPro Stadium in August.

McClaren was happy to secure a point against their East Midlands rivals after being reduced to 10 men in what was the first of three difficult matches in seven days.

They next travel to Blackburn on Wednesday before hosting Cardiff City on Saturday.

"It's a tough week this week with three very good teams that we are playing against - it is a test for us," said 53-year-old McClaren.

"You have to have character and the grit to come here and get anything, and they have got that."

The Rams boss also confirmed that forward Jamie Ward could return from injury for their midweek fixture at Ewood Park.