Next Newcastle manager: Derby boss Steve McClaren denies that he is in line to replace Alan Pardew at St James' Park

Former England manager insists his focus is solely on his current job

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The Independent Online

Former England coach Steve McClaren dismissed suggestions he could be a candidate to succeed Alan Pardew as the next Newcastle manager.

Speaking after a 2-0 win over Leeds maintained his Derby side's bid for an automatic promotion place in the Championship, McClaren said that it was “the speculation season” and insisted his focus was solely on his current job. He is priced at 16-1 to take over on Tyneside with some bookmakers.

“As normal in these situations, anyone who is doing well finds his name mentioned,” he said. “It's the same for Eddie Howe at Bournemouth.

“It's the speculation season. All we can do is focus on the job in hand and there are a lot of big games coming up.”

In a radio interview, Darren Peacock, the former Newcastle defender, said McClaren “sticks out as someone experienced to come in and settle down” but the former Middlesbrough manager, who still has a home in the north-east, emphasised how much he is enjoying being in charge of Derby.

“It's a great club where I have a great relationship with the board and the chief executive and I love working with these players,” he said.

“They are a great bunch of lads who work really hard for me and I enjoy watching them play. I've worked with other good players at other clubs, but this is a team with a lot of potential.”

McClaren has been at Derby since September 2013, winning 41 of his 70 games in charge and suffering only 15 defeats, having taken the side to the Championship play-off final in his first season in charge.

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