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Clement axed as Derby head coach

Championship promotion contenders Derby County have sacked head coach Paul Clement after seven games without a win in the league.

Clement arrived at Derby to replace Steve McClaren having been assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

The 43-year-old guided the Rams to the top of the table on Boxing Day after a 2-0 victory over Fulham, but – despite being backed in the transfer window – he has not tasted league success since.

A 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage on Saturday proved the final straw for owner Mel Morris despite Derby still sitting in fifth place, five points off leaders Hull City and Middlesbrough.

"We are grateful for the contribution Paul has made to the football club but the time is right to make a change," Morris told the club's official website.

"When Paul joined us last year we worked with him to develop a plan for the club which we asked him to embrace.

"It was clear in this plan, which was briefed to supporters, players, sponsors and all our stakeholders last summer that promotion this season was not the primary target.

"The priorities were building on the Derby way and style of football enjoyed in the past two seasons; adding depth and strength to our playing squad; and, developing and improving player and team performance.

"Sadly, on these measurements, we have not made enough progress and that is why we have decided to part company with Paul.

"I want to record our thanks to Paul for his efforts in leading the team through the first 30 games of this season and in achieving a top six position at this point. We wish him every success in his future career."

Academy director Darren Wassall will take charge of the club until the end of the season.