Derby boss plays down Newcastle links

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren

STEVE McClaren played down speculation linking him with Newcastle after his Derby County team stayed on course for a Premier League return with a 2-0 victory that leaves Leeds United in relegation trouble.

Derby’s head coach saw his side move up to third in the table after an Alex Mowatt own goal and a Jake Buxton header had secured an eighth home victory in nine games over Leeds.

McClaren’s work at the iPro Stadium in the last year has restored his reputation but when asked about Newcastle in the wake of reports that Alan Pardew is set to take over at Crystal Palace, he replied: “I think there have been about 10 linked!

“It’s the speculation season and all we can do is focus on what we are doing. We’ve got big games coming up and a job to do here.

“In the last year, I think we have established ourselves as a very good team, the club is building and growing and these are a great bunch of lads to work with and when they play like they did tonight, I enjoy watching their football.

“Their attitude is tremendous, they work hard and if we lose, it’s not through a lack of endeavour. They never stopped chasing for 95 minutes and that is the platform.”