anager 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.”