QPR’s McClaren ready for a visit from old club
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McClaren had two spells in charge of Rams, who are now managed by Frank Lampard
Steve McClaren comes up against his former employers on Saturday when current side Queens Park Rangers welcome Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship.
The 57-year-old has had two spells in charge of the Rams, with his most recent stint ending with his sacking in March 2017.
That was McClaren’s last managerial job before moving into the QPR hot seat in the summer, so the former England boss may feel he has a point to prove.
The Rs received a confidence boost ahead of hosting County by beating Reading 1-0 in the league on Tuesday night to end a run of three straight defeats in all competitions.
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McClaren was happy his current employers ended their poor form before the visit from his former club, but has challenged the west Londoners to deliver another strong display against Derby.
“I hope it will be a terrific game. We talk about performance all the time and it doesn’t matter what the result is, the performance at Reading was excellent and just what I want,” he told the club website.
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“The players were hard to beat, hard to grind down, showed good ability, played football, were composed on the ball and that got its rewards.”
Against Reading, QPR impressed defensively and were able to collect a fourth league clean sheet of the season.
That pleased McClaren, who was also thrilled to see skipper Toni Leistner net his first goal for the Rs since joining from German second-tier side Union Berlin in the summer.
The ‘Big Friendly German’ pounced in the 64th minute following a goalmouth scramble after a corner.
McClaren was delighted to see his captain grab his first goal for the club, and believes it shows that what the Loftus Road outfit work on in training is paying dividends.
“Toni and the whole team enjoyed the goal. I think that was proof of the hard work they put in on the training field,” he added.
“(Coaches) Matty Gardiner and John Eustace worked very hard on set-plays for us in the build-up to the game and they’ll be delighted too.
“We had a couple of opportunities in the first half. Set-plays win you games, as it proved at Reading.”
McClaren will want his team to make the most of set-pieces again on Saturday as QPR look to build on that win over Reading with a victory at home to Derby.