Head Coach McClaren delighted to pick up three points at Pride Park against Sheffield Wednesday.
Head Coach Steve McClaren described Derby County’s 3-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday as ‘one of those perfect Saturday afternoons’.
Derby claimed their second home win of the season in convincing fashion to move up to ninth in the Sky Bet Championship.
Jake Buxton broke the deadlock just before half-time to set the ball rolling and further goals from Will Hughes and Chris Martin after the break confirmed the victory.
In the process Derby kept their first clean sheet on home turf this season in the league while McClaren was left purring at the quality of his side’s performance.
He told Rams Player: “The performance was excellent today and we’re delighted with the players.
“We played some excellent football, scored three good goals in their own right and kept a clean sheet too.
“Keeping a clean sheet was so important; we’ve not managed to do that enough lately so the players will take great confidence from doing that.
“We’ve concentrated on bringing a bit more consistency into our game in the last few weeks and if you can keep a clean sheet, it gives you a great chance of getting something from a game.
“We had a great platform today with Lee Grant, the back four, and Kalifa Cisse just in front of them, and that allowed the other players to express themselves.
“What really pleased me today was the patience we showed in the first half as we pushed for that first goal.
“Sheffield Wednesday came here in confident mood and were hard to break down but we kept working and ground them down.
“Once we got our noses in front, like we told the players it would, the game opened up and that allowed us to show our quality.
“We have players who can score goals and they really did show that today.”
He added: “It’s one of those perfect days: a win, a clean sheet and three goals.”
New signing Kalifa Cisse went straight into the starting XI in place of John Eustace, who was forced to sit out the game due to suspension, after receiving international clearance to play late last night.
The 29-year-old free agent had been training with Derby for four weeks prior to putting pen-to-paper and McClaren was pleased with the Mali international’s impact in the holding midfield role.
He said: “Kalifa signed non-contract forms last night and I guess whatever we did today with John Eustace being suspended would have been a gamble.
“We know Kalifa can play that holding midfield role and he’s got better and better with each week, so we thought we would take a chance on him.
“There’s a few players coming back from injury in that area of the pitch but it was a case of ‘needs must’ for us today and we’ll see how things go from here.
“We’re helping him at the moment by getting him fitter and games and he’s helping us too.”
Derby must now wait two weeks until their next fixture owing to the November international break.
Their next game is at AFC Bournemouth on the South Coast in a fortnight’s time and McClaren says the international window will allow himself and the coaching staff to assess their opening five games in charge of the Rams.
He said: “It’s great to go into the international break off the back of a win; it keeps that feel-good factor around the place.
“It’s a good time for us to assess and work on things and we’ll get ourselves ready to go when we return to action, as it’s a busy period coming up.”
Watch Steve McClaren’s post-match interview on Rams Player.