Derby County need perfect finish to pinch promotion

Having seen their winless run extended to six matches, Steve McClaren believes Derby County need to win their remaining games to clinch promotion.

There was much for the Rams manager to be angry about on Friday night, not least when the referee ruled out at Tom Ince goal only to instead reward his side a free-kick. That would have given McClaren’s side a 1-0 win at Molineux, but it was Wolverhampton Wanderers who went on to seek the initiative and secure an impressive 2-0 success.

This defeat means Derby have not collected maximum points since a 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic last month, and they have now fallen five points off an automatic promotion place in the Championship. And although McClaren is certainly not willing to give up the fight just yet, he accepts his team probably need to win their remaining seven games.

“Absolutely, we’re capable of doing that,” said the former England coach following the potentially damaging loss at Wolves. “We have got ourselves into the top three or four all the time and in the last few weeks we have fallen below that. I accept we make mistakes, we have made errors which have cost us and individuals know that, there’s no criticism.”

Derby resume their quest to reach the Premier League next Friday, in a crucial match against table-toppers Watford. By this time the Hornets, who are unbeaten in their last six, could already be eight points clear of the Rams if they overcome eighth-place Ipswich Town at Vicarage Road when they play their game in hand on Saturday afternoon.

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