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Sky Bet Championship

Elland Road (ATT 29,724) 3rd May 2014 - Kick off 12:15

Leeds Leeds United vs Derby County Derby

Leeds 1

M Smith (50)

ft

Derby 1

S Dawkins (6)

Sky Bet Championship: Derby boss Steve McClaren focusing on Brighton test

Last Updated: 03/05/14 6:22pm

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Steve McClaren: Says the season starts now for Derby

Steve McClaren: Says the season starts now for Derby

Manager Steve McClaren is taking nothing for granted as Derby prepare to meet Brighton in the Sky Bet Championship semi-final play-offs.

The former England coach saw his side battle for a point from a 1-1 draw at Leeds and declared: "The season begins for us now. We have done nothing yet. We've got a ticket for the lottery and we hope it is the lucky one."

McClaren made six changes but Simon Dawkins took just six minutes to shoot the Rams ahead.

Matt Smith equalised from Ross McCormack's assist five minutes into the second half, but McClaren said: "We wanted to turn in a performance and be hard to beat and we did that.

"They gave us a hard test but we showed tremendous attitude."

McClaren confirmed that all his players had come through without injury and added: "The games against Brighton are like two cup ties.

"Over the last few weeks we have cemented our place in the play-offs and our level of performance hasn't dropped, but we are taking nothing for granted.

"Brighton will be buzzing after defeating Nottingham Forest and qualifying for the play-offs so we will take that into account.

"When I took the job I would have said you were mad if you had told me we would finish where we are, but the players have been magnificent, adding consistency to their game."

Leeds concluded a disappointing campaign with 10 points out of 15 since the club's ownership was sorted out to finish 15th in the table.

Manager Brian McDermott said: "Since things have settled down our record equates to 92 points over a season.

"We played some really good stuff against Derby who are the team to beat in the play-offs.

"There are a lot of reasons for where we finished and they are not excuses. We are not where we want to be yet. We just need a stable environment and with the new ownership situation these are exciting times for Leeds United."

McDermott's future as Leeds manager remains to be confirmed but he is upbeat and said: "I have to talk to the owner and take things from there.

"I am itching to start planning and preparing for next season. It drives you on when you see nearly 30,000 supporters in the ground. They don't give up and the Leeds United manager won't give up."

After their poor start, Leeds had two penalty claims rejected. Michael Tonge argued that Richard Keogh handled his 20 yard shot as the interval approached and Smith claimed he was impeded as he ran through the penalty box two minutes after scoring.

Derby defended manfully at times against the threat of Smith and McCormack - a quality that should stand them in good stead as they reach out for promotion.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Norwich City 10 20
2 Nottingham Forest 10 20
3 Watford 10 20
4 Derby County 10 19
5 Ipswich Town 10 18
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 18
7 Charlton Athletic 10 18
8 Middlesbrough 10 17
9 Sheffield Wednesday 10 16
10 Reading 9 14
11 Blackburn Rovers 10 14
12 Brentford 10 14
13 Cardiff City 10 13
14 Leeds United 9 13
15 Bournemouth 10 12
16 Millwall 10 11
17 Rotherham United 10 11
18 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 10
19 Birmingham City 10 10
20 Wigan Athletic 10 9
21 Huddersfield Town 9 8
22 Bolton Wanderers 9 5
23 Fulham 9 4
24 Blackpool 10 3

Match Reaction

McClaren focusing on Brighton

McClaren focusing on Brighton

Manager Steve McClaren is taking nothing for granted as Derby prepare to meet Brighton in the Sky Bet Championship semi-final play-offs.