Steve McClaren returns as Derby County manager 17 months after being sacked to replace Nigel Pearson
McClaren met with Derby owner Mel Morris on Wednesday, with a deal concluded within hours of the former England manager’s arrival that has seen him sign a contract until the end of the 2017/18 season.
McClaren has not taken on a managerial role since he was sacked by Newcastle in March 2016, with the Magpies going on to be relegated from the Premier League that season.
Having played for Derby during his career before beginning his coaching career with the Midlands club, McClaren has strong ties to the Rams and returns following a two and a half year spell as manager between September 2013 and May 2015.
Derby had been tipped for promotion in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 under McClaren, but a play-off final defeat by former employers Queens Park Rangers and a last-day defeat to rob his side of a second straight play-off appearance put paid to his time at the iPro Stadium.
Speaking to the club’s official website, McClaren said: “I am excited to be back at Derby County as the club’s manager.
“I have a great affiliation with the club, having been here on three previous occasions, and I am really delighted at the prospect of finishing what we started back in September 2013.
“I regret how my time at Derby ended back in 2015 and I am very motivated to put things right for the club and our supporters.
“My ultimate aspiration remains exactly what it was before, to take Derby County back to the Premier League.
“This football club has fantastic ambition, brilliant supporters and wonderful backing from the Chairman Mel Morris. I am looking forward to working alongside Mel, as well as [chief executive] Sam Rush who initially brought me back here in 2013. Sam and I worked very well together previously and I am certain we can pick up where we left off.”
It has also been confirmed that Chris Powell will continue as assistant manager, having worked as caretaker manager during Pearson’s suspension and subsequent departure. Kevin Phillips and Pascal Zuberbuhler will also continue as first team coach and goalkeeping coach respectively.
“For me, it was vitally important that Chris Powell and the existing team remained on the coaching staff,” McClaren said. “When I was assistant to Jim Smith in the 1990s, Chris was part of the squad and a key player for us.
“He had a fine playing career, being capped by England as well as enjoying many years in the Premier League, so to have someone as talented as him as my assistant is really important.”