Paul Clement unveiled as Derby manager: 'It was time to leave Carlo Ancelotti', says former Real Madrid assistant coach

The former PE teacher has been working in Spain for the past six years

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The Independent Football

Paul Clement has revealed he took the Derby County manager’s job because the time had come to go it alone and emerge from beneath the wing of Carlo Ancelotti.

The former Real Madrid assistant coach has been unveiled as Steve McClaren’s successor at Derby on a three-year contract.

The 43-year-old’s first managerial role comes after his stint as assistant to Ancelotti ended last week following the Italian’s sacking by Real.

“This is something that has been a burning ambition of mine for some time, since working at senior level,” said Clement, who has  also coached at Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Paris Saint-Germain.

“I worked in development football for a long time and enjoyed that,” he added, “but I enjoyed making the step up at Chelsea, with Gus Hiddink initially and then under Carlo Ancelotti, and thought at some point I’d want the opportunity to become a head coach.

“I have had a wonderful experience in the last six years working as an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at three great clubs. Carlo Ancelotti gave me a lot of confidence, he is a great manager – and a great man. He has been my mentor.”

Clement had offers from other clubs, with Sunderland thought to be a suitor prior to the re-appointment of Dick Advocaat.

However, the former PE teacher and son of former Queen’s Park Rangers and England full-back Dave Clement, was only tempted by Derby.

He said: “I could have gone elsewhere, I had offers, but I knew that when I was to go it alone it had to be the right club. Early on Derby did interest me. I said before, I feel I am at a big club. It is a club with tradition, a strong supporter base and infrastructure.

“I liked what [chief executive] Sam Rush had to say and his ambition for the club matched mine.”