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Derby County: Paul Warne on finding ‘vindication’ in promotion

Written by on April 30, 2024

Warne was handed a four-year deal to replace interim boss Liam Rosenior – who had overseen an initial rebuild of the squad following Clowes’ takeover.

The club had just five players on their books when coming out of administration, and it was then rookie boss Rosenior – who has gone on to manage Hull in the Championship – who signed promotion-winning captain Conor Hourihane, this season’s leading scorer James Collins and the influential Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.

Former Derby and Manchester United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, who was a Rams player the last time they won promotion from the third tier in 1986, says “a lot of faith” was put in Warne by lifelong fan Clowes.

They have gone up this season with a record points tally, but now move into a division where Warne has overseen three relegations.

“Promotion is the judgement of this side,” Steele said.

“It will now be a tough challenge and the step up is huge, even compared to when he has done it with Rotherham.

“You live and die by recruitment. Look at Ipswich, they were the best team we saw in League One last season – they got up, then got their recruitment right, did it quickly and now they are two wins away from the Premier League.

“I’m not saying Derby are going to do the same, but it shows the value of the plan being there.”

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