| 19.4°C Dublin

Keogh: Derby must try better to go up

IRELAND defender Richard Keogh says his Derby County team-mates have to try and better last season's display in the Championship.

The Rams missed out on a place in the Premier League, losing a playoff final to QPR, but their form last season has seen Steve McClaren's side touted as title favourites for this term.

"It comes with the territory a little bit doesn't it? I think it is great that people are looking at us in a different way and credit to the players for that being the case," he says.

"We played so well last year and went about our business really well.

"There is going to be expectation on us and we have to deal with that.

"We have to deal with it as a squad and especially as experienced players too. We need to handle things well and make sure we help the young lads through."

Derby were boosted by the news yesterday that manager McClaren signed a new three-year contract.

First-team coach Paul Simpson and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele have also extended their deals until 2017.

The trio joined Derby at the end of September last year, following the decision to sack Nigel Clough.