Derby fires McClaren after 'team unity and morale' declines

DERBY, England (AP) " Derby County has fired former England manager Steve McClaren for the second time in less than two years and delivered a damning critique of his reign.

The second-tier League Championship club says there has been a "significant, unexpected and persistent decline in results, team unity and morale."

The 55-year-old McClaren returned to the central England club in October, following his May 2015 dismissal. Derby has won once in nine league matches and is 10 points from the playoff places with nine games remaining.

Chairman Mel Morris says "the heartbeat, commitment, focus and passion has been lacking something fundamental."

McLaren is the last England manager to fail to qualify for a tournament, losing his job after 18 months in 2007 after missing out on the 2008 European Championship.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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