Steve McClaren admitted he has a lot of work ahead of him despite marking his second spell as Derby manager with a 1-0 victory over Leeds United on Saturday.
McClaren saw Johnny Russell come off the bench to score the goal that earned Derby’s first home league win of the season and the first for six months.
Leeds pressed hard in the closing stages and almost equalised in the fifth minute of added time when substitute Marcus Antonsson curled a shot from just inside the box past Scott Carson but the ball came back off a post.
“I think you could see the nervousness of the players but amongst that nervousness the players showed fight, the attitude was great and we got some great blocks in at the end,” McClaren said. “We worked our socks off and we needed that second goal and we have to learn that.
“The last 10 minutes was always going to be nervous but we rode our luck and got through it and it was a big three points.
“We said we need to put a marker down at five o’clock and we have done.
“I saw certain aspects I like and potential in the team but there is a lot of work, a lot of work, and a long way to go but if the players have that attitude and fight, I have no complaints,” said the former England and Newcastle boss.
“That’s what we said at the beginning not just at half-time, what do the supporters want to see, they want to see your fight, attitude, tackles and I think the players did that.”