Ex-Blades striker praises boss Clough

Jamie Ward
Jamie Ward
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Derby striker Jamie Ward believes the decision to sack Nigel Clough was “harsh” but is excited by the prospect of working under former England manager Steve McClaren.

Ward, formerly with Sheffeld United and Chesterfield, is on international duty with Northern Ireland this week. He said he owed a debt of gratitude to Clough, who brought him from United to Pride Park.

The 27-year-old became a focal point of Clough’s Rams side and although sorry to see him go, Ward knows McClaren brings plenty of experience with him.

“I think the news surprised us all...the board obviously thought it was time for a change but the players thought it was harsh at the time,” he said.

“No-one was expecting it but that’s football, it happens every other day somewhere in the world.

“But Nigel Clough did an awful lot for me, he took me there and made me a main player for the last two or three years. When he left I thanked him for all he did for me.

“Now we have Steve McClaren coming in and he comes with a massive profile.

“He’s a former England manager, he did well in Holland, he spent time in Germany, so it is an exciting time for the club now.

“We have to all go in the right direction with it and push forward. With a bit of luck we can get into the play-offs.”