CRIT­I­CAL CLE­MENT HITS OUT

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FOURTH ROUND -

DERBY COUNTY head coach Paul Cle­ment has crit­i­cised the gen­eral style of play in the Cham­pi­onship, say­ing there is a lack of fo­cus on cre­ativ­ity.

Cle­ment, who joined the Rams in the sum­mer af­ter coach­ing at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Ger­main and Real Madrid, has im­ple­mented an at­trac­tive pass­ing style of play at Pride Park.

But he has been left far from im­pressed by Derby’s league ri­vals and the way they choose to play the game.

Speak­ing to The Times ahead of the Rams’ 3-1 FA Cup de­feat to Manch­ester United, Cle­ment said: “We are try­ing to go up play­ing de­cent foot­ball.

“That’s one of the things that’s dis­ap­pointed me in the Cham­pi­onship. There’s a heavy re­liance on very di­rect, very ag­gres­sive foot­ball, very high tempo and less on teams that try and play more cre­atively.

“It’s be­cause of pres­sures on get­ting up to the next league, even more so now with all the TV money that is avail­able.”

De­spite sit­ting fifth in the Cham­pi­onship, the Rams have lost three of their last four league games – their last win com­ing on Box­ing Day against Ful­ham – with cer­tain sec­tions of the Derby sup­port ques­tion­ing some of Cle­ment’s de­ci­sions.

“The peo­ple I’ve met when I’m out have been very re­spect­ful, been very com­pli­men­tary about the work we’re do­ing,” he added.

“Un­for­tu­nately there’s some other stuff as well, the im­pa­tience, the ex­pec­ta­tion.We are try­ing to build the squad so when we do go up, we’ve got half a chance of stay­ing there.”

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