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Derby sack McClaren for second time in 22 months

Championship side Derby County have parted ways with head coach Steve McClaren for the second time in three seasons.

A damning statement from the Rams said the former England boss had overseen a "significant, unexpected and persistent decline in results, team unity and morale".

Chairman Mel Morris added: "Steve is a great coach, we have very talented players and first-class facilities but the heartbeat, commitment, focus and passion has been lacking something fundamental. 

"The Brighton game on Friday [a 3-0 defeat] was so far from what we expect to see from those wearing a Derby County shirt."

McClaren, whose first stint at Derby ended in May 2015, was reappointed last October after a stuttering start to the season under Nigel Pearson.

He won nine of his first 12 games in charge to take the Rams within two points of the play-offs on New Year's Eve, but they have only won three times since the turn of the year, costing the 55-year-old his job.