Next Game

Birm'ham v Derby

Friday, 26 December 2014, 15:00

Sky Bet Ch'ship

iPro Stadium

Last Game

Derby 2 - 2 Norwich

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 12:15

Sky Bet Ch'ship

McClaren cools promotion talk

Derby boss Steve McClaren refused to acknowledge his side as contenders for automatic promotion from the Sky Bet Championship, despite a "big win" over QPR.

Last Updated: 11/02/14 at 07:31 Post Comment

Steve McClaren: Watches his Derby side defeat promotion rivals QPR

Steve McClaren: Watches his Derby side defeat promotion rivals QPR

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A 1-0 victory saw the Rams close the gap on QPR and second-placed Burnley to a single point, with Harry Redknapp's side missing the opportunity to move into the top two by going down to John Eustace's first-half header.

Derby have surged up the table since McClaren took over in September and now sit in fourth place but the manager insists the play-offs remain the target, despite a "very satisfying" victory at the iPro Stadium.

"I said before the game it would be a test of how far we've come. We were ready for a big win and this was a big win. We hadn't beaten any of the top six and this was a challenge.

"We could have killed it a lot earlier. We had chances on the break and we didn't take enough care on the ball. But the clean sheet got us the win.

"That is the most satisfying aspect because in the last two games we've conceded five goals and that's not good enough. The key is to get the balance right. Clean sheets at this stage of the season will get you wins.

"I'm delighted for John Eustace. We needed the first goal. That gave us something to hang on to, especially in the last 15 minutes. It's very satisfying."

McClaren still played down Derby's promotion hopes when he was asked whether they were contenders to finish in the top two.

He said: "I still say no because we haven't got the experience. We've got to show more consistency, especially against the big teams.

"We're still looking at seventh position. That is our target at the present moment. The likes of Leicester, QPR and Burnley have got all the experience."

The game's decisive moment came after 20 minutes.

Rob Green came to punch away Will Hughes' inswinging corner but the ball merely brushed his fist and was diverted into the vicinity of Eustace, who looped his header back into the far top corner of the net.

"Gary O'Neil said he was fouled," said QPR boss Redknapp.

"I haven't seen it again yet though, so I could be talking rubbish, I don't know. But the ref has given (the goal) now, hasn't he?

"We didn't create nearly enough chances, that was the problem.

"We didn't press them in the first half and we seemed more worried about them.

"We were better in the second half but we didn't created enough."

QPR lack firepower with leading scorer Charlie Austin and Matty Phillips both out injured for the remainder of the season.

Redknapp may pin his hopes on Manchester United youngster Will Keane to fire his side back to the Premier League.

The 21-year-old forward has yet to feature since arriving on loan at the end of January but Redknapp thinks he is an exciting prospect.

"Charlie was our goalscorer wasn't he, really?" he said.

"He's a big loss, and Matty Phillips is out for the rest of the season too.

"I may look at it (the loan market) but we've got Kevin Doyle, although he's been out of the goals at Wolves.

"But I'm looking forward to seeing young Will now, he's a good player and he will get a chance.

"It's an area we might be a bit short in but I still feel we have a big chance (of promotion)."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Premier League: Neil Warnock blasts officials after Crystal Palace's 3-0 defeat at Man City

Neil Warnock said the decision to disallow a Crystal Palace goal in the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City was "disgraceful".

Jose Mourinho rejects idea of retrospective action against divers

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says it would be a "disaster" to punish divers retrospectively.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal are prepared to spend in January

Arsene Wenger says he won't buy for the sake of it but has vowed to spend in January if the right player is available.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property