Steve McClaren always hoped opportunity to manage Derby County would arise

The former England manager has signed a three-year contract with the Championship side

New Derby head coach Steve McClaren is revelling in the chance to fulfil a long-time ambition.

The former England manager was appointed into the Pride Park hot-seat on Monday night on a three-year deal following the sacking of Nigel Clough on Saturday.

McClaren played for the Rams in the 1980s and was assistant manager in the 1990s and is delighted with the opportunity to manage them.

"This club has got fantastic history and tradition," he said at Tuesday morning's unveiling.

"I have always followed Derby County. Because I played and was assistant it was always in my head that I would love to opportunity to manage them and it came quickly."

He added: "The opportunity came - the phone call came on Saturday night - and I really had no hesitation.

"It is a club I have an affinity with, right back to since I first came when they were playing at the old Baseball Ground.

"It is a club that in the last few years has developed its academy - developed its young players - and has got a good team together.

"Nigel has had a significant influence in the team. He has brought players through and created it.

"It wasn't my decision to make a change, but it is up to me to develop what I have been left.

"We have got a great opportunity to come back to Derby County and start something that we hope will be big.

"I'm thrilled and excited. The club wants to move in a different direction. We want to make developments. Fill the stadium, get the fans excited and have players that will get you off your seat.

"It is a two-and-a-half-year project. We want to progress that. Giving the fans excitement."

McClaren arrives from Sky Bet Championship rivals QPR, where he had been working as a coach on a short-term contract since the beginning of July.

Despite being keen to join Derby, the 52-year-old admitted he was sad to be leaving Harry Redknapp's side.

He said: "It was a wrench, actually, to leave Queens Park Rangers.

"I had three great months there and Harry was fantastic to me. The staff and the players - it has been a great experience.

"I was asked to stay but the pull of coming back here was too great. My family are from round here and two of my children were born here - one when I was a player and one when I was working under Jim Smith."

McClaren will watch Derby's home Championship fixture against Ipswich tonight from the stands.

Academy manager Darren Wassall will take charge of first-team affairs for the match, but McClaren will be at the helm when Leeds visit Pride Park on Saturday.

He added: "It is just a watching role for me tonight but I am looking forward to seeing the team play, we have some excellent players here.

"I like how the team gets the ball down and plays, that is what attracted me to this job - the style of football."

PA

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