The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

PAUL Cle­ment ar­rived at the iPro Sta­dium hav­ing shad­owed Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris Sain­tGer­main, and Real Madrid.

Yet Derby pre­de­ces­sor Steve McClaren could boast a sim­i­larly im­pres­sive coach­ing CV, and it did lit­tle to help him avoid suc­ces­sive fail­ures to se­cure pro­mo­tion for the Rams.

Eight of those who fea­tured in this three-nil de­feat were in­volved when Read­ing won by the same score­line at the iPro at the end of last sea­son.

That re­ver­sal capped Derby's dis­mal de­scent from top­ping the Cham­pi­onship at the start of last March to miss­ing out on the play­offs come the fi­nal day.

Derby are now with­out a league win since Box­ing Day, and are four points adrift of the au­to­matic places. Fail­ure threat­ens to be­come a habit if their form doesn't pick up soon, and en­sur­ing that bad things don't come in threes for the Rams mat­ters more than any test Cle­ment faced as a num­ber two.

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