McClaren poised for Derby County return

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren won just six of 28 Premier League games in charge of Newcastle

Steve McClaren is expected to be appointed as Derby County head coach on Wednesday just 17 months after he was sacked, BBC Radio Derby reports.

Nigel Pearson left his role as boss by mutual consent on Saturday after less than five months, and McClaren, 55, has been in talks with the Rams.

Chris Powell, who has been in temporary charge, is expected to return to his role as assistant manager.

Ex-England boss McClaren left Derby in acrimonious circumstances in May 2015.

Following constant speculation linking him with the job at Newcastle, McClaren subsequently joined the Magpies but was sacked in March 2016.

Pearson, who replaced Paul Clement as boss, was originally suspended by the Championship side pending a club investigation into his “behaviour” following a heated exchange with owner Mel Morris.

McClaren won just six of 28 Premier League games in charge of Newcastle, who were just one place off the foot of the table when he departed and they were eventually relegated.

He only spent two seasons with the Rams, leading them to Championship play-off final defeat by QPR in 2013-2014.

Derby lost 3-0 at home to Reading on the final day of the following season, meaning they missed out on the play-offs after ending February top of the table, and McClaren was sacked in the same month.

BBC Radio 5 live’s Pat Murphy said: “McClaren was interviewed last night just hours after Morris spoke warmly to a business leaders’ conference about the head coach he sacked almost 18 months ago after the club’s season had imploded.

“McClaren is recognised as one of England’s outstanding coaches and Powell – who played for him at Derby in the 1990s when McClaren was first-team coach – is happy to work under him.

“It will be McClaren’s fourth spell at Derby. His contract will run to summer 2018 and he’s expected to be in the dug-out for the Leeds match this Saturday. The rest of the coaching staff will be kept on.”

As well as coaching England from 2006-07, McClaren was previously manager at Middlesbrough, FC Twente, Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest.

McClaren U-turn a ‘shock’

Analysis: BBC Radio Derby’s Owen Bradley

“Shocked is an understatement considering the nature of Steve McClaren’s departure.

“Though he was ultimately sacked, McClaren damaged lots of relationships at the club by never bringing to an end the links with Newcastle. In the eyes of some, that derailed Derby’s promotion campaign.

“Mel Morris is a big fan of McClaren’s quality as a coach, but was part of the group that sacked him. If that relationship has been repaired then it will happen.”

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