Steve McClaren's reputation lifts Derby County - Sam Rush

Steve McClaren gives some instructions to winger Jordon Ibe
Sam Rush says Steve McClaren's standing within football has allowed him to borrow players like Liverpool's Jordon Ibe

The respect that Derby head coach Steve McClaren commands within football has played a major role in allowing the club to fully exploit the loan market, according to chief executive Sam Rush.

And Rush told BBC Radio Derby: "The key to bringing in the loan signings is Steve McClaren and his reputation.

"Clubs want their young players to come because they believe they'll develop."

Derby are second in the Championship, level on points with Bournemouth, after losing in last year's play-off final.

In both seasons, former England coach McClaren has made full use of the loan market.

Liverpool duo Andre Wisdom and Jordon Ibe have both featured for the Rams since McClaren took over.

Derby head coach Steve McClaren (left) shares a joke with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Derby head coach Steve McClaren (left) shares a joke with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who last season loaned Patrick Bamford to the Rams

Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford and Lingard's former Manchester United team-mate Michael Keane have also played key roles while on short-term deals.

"It is a very attractive base for talented young players," Rush said.

"If young players are not able to get that pathway initially in the parent club's first team, then the next best thing is to come to Derby County and be coached, play in front of 30,000 every week, train with great facilities and work with great young players."

Rush said the club were thrilled with their transfer activity in January, even if the last-minute nature of the deals for Ince and Lingard was far from ideal.

"It certainly wasn't how we would have planned it," Rush added. "We like to get our business done in good time, but a lot of it was out of our hands.

"In the last few hours I wasn't sure whether we would do no deals, one deal or two deals. But we are absolutely delighted we got two and they are top-quality additions.

"You look collectively and say 'is the squad stronger than it was on 1 January?' I would argue that it is."

Steve McClaren
Born: 3 May 1961Clubs played for: Hull City, Derby County, Lincoln City (loan), Bristol City, Oxford UnitedPlaying honours: Football League Second Division 1987 (Derby)Teams managed: Middlesbrough, England, FC Twente (twice), Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Derby CountyManagement honours: League Cup 2004 (Middlesbrough), Eredivisie 2010 (FC Twente)

He continued: "We have done some good housekeeping, giving some players the opportunity to get out and play as well.

"It has been a hugely positive month. I don't think any right-minded person could possibly suggest there is any issue with the ambition at Derby. We have identified the talent, and recruited that talent."

And Rush believes everything is now in place to secure promotion to the Premier League, thanks to a large fan base, "significant corporate and commercial support" and a "very supportive and stable ownership group".

He said: "We have backing in any number of areas and you need that.

"Steve has a good group and he hasn't suggested there is any more business he would like to do. There is probably an understanding now that this is the group.

"We have 18 league games left and I am looking forward to watching this team continue to develop with the new signings, on top of what was already a very good group of players."

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