The Rams are flying at present, with five straight wins carrying them to within five points of the automatic promotion places in the Championship.
They are, however, only nine points clear of Watford in 12th, with the second tier promotion battle set to be keenly-contested once again.
Taking that into account, McClaren is reluctant to look too far ahead.
Building in the New Year may be essential, to push on towards the Premier League or replace possible outgoings, but those at Pride Park are reluctant to speculate on what 2014 will hold.
McClaren said in the Derby Telegraph: "It's an old cliché and I apologise for using it, but the main focus is on one game at a time.
"Let's get to January and see where we are and what we need to really make a push."
Derby's surge up the standings should make them a more attractive proposition to transfer targets, and McClaren is aware of how important image has become - especially in the loan market.
He added: "The most important thing is the kind of club, culture and environment we are trying to create and the kind of football we are trying to play.
"I think that is important when you are dealing with the bigger clubs. They want their players to go to a certain club and one that plays a certain style.
"That attracts the top clubs when they are thinking of loaning out their young players and it has been successful with Simon Dawkins (Tottenham), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool) and Michael Keane (Manchester United) coming in."