May 26, 2015 09:16:07 UK
Steve McClaren says he was confident of helping Derby County challenge for a Premier League return next season, before being shown the door by the Rams.
A dismal run of form in the closing weeks of the campaign saw Derby miss out on the Championship play-offs altogether this season, with the Rams having lost in the play-off final last term to Queens Park Rangers.
I wanted to remain with the club and was confident in leading the side to a successful season next year.
However, former England head coach McClaren feels that there was unfinished business left at Pride Park, having been sacked by the club on Monday.
A statement from the vastly-experienced McClaren read: “I’m very disappointed with the decision. The club means a huge amount to me and I was not looking to leave.
“While we were all unhappy with the way the season ended, I still believe real progress was being made.
“I wanted to remain with the club and was confident in leading the side to a successful season next year.”
Derby took just 12 points from their final 13 Championship matches, winning only two games, with a 3-0 final-day loss to Reading at Pride Park seeing them eventually finish down in eighth place.
And the Rams board revealed that the main reason for axing McClaren was a desire to challenge again next season, as their statement read: “The board remains firmly committed and driven to achieving promotion to the Premier League.”
Derby are 5.00 to be promoted next season, with East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest 6.50 and Burnley 5.50.
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