McClaren dismisses Newcastle reports

Derby County manager Steve McClaren distanced himself from reports linking him to Premier League outfit Newcastle United.

The Newcastle hot seat is set to be vacated by Alan Pardew, who is reportedly finalising a return to Crystal Palace after being granted permission to speak with the Selhurst Park club.

McClaren is among a list of candidates for the job following a successful spell in the Championship that has seen the former England boss restore his reputation.

But McClaren, who oversaw Derby's 2-0 win over Leeds United on Tuesday to end the year in third position, played down a potential move to Newcastle.

"I think there have been about 10 [people] linked," McClaren told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's the speculation season and all we can do is focus on what we are doing. We've got big games coming up and a job to do here.

"In the last year, I think we have established ourselves as a very good team, the club is building and growing and these are a great bunch of lads to work with and when they play like they did tonight, I enjoy watching their football.

"Their attitude is tremendous, they work hard and if we lose, it's not through a lack of endeavour. They never stopped chasing for 95 minutes and that is the platform."