Derby County: Steve McClaren thought Craig Bryson would leave

Derby County manager Steve McClaren has admitted that he is surprised Craig Bryson has not left club this summer.

Burnley had an offer for the midfielder rejected and there was interest from QPR before Bryson, 27, signed a new five-year contract.

McClaren told BBC Radio Derby: "It's a great boost - because we thought we'd lost him. We didn't think we'd keep hold of him.

"Everybody worked hard on him. In the end he stays. It's like a new signing."


"Derby County have done very well in getting their player of the season to sign a new contract. Burnley were extremely confident they would agree a deal for Bryson before the start of the season, but the fact he has turned down Premier League football right now for the chance to get there with Derby says a lot about the direction the club is moving in."

Bryson scored 16 goals for the Rams last season as they narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight.

They finished third in the table before being beaten by a last-minute goal by QPR in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Derby have managed to keep their key players, with England Under-21 international midfielder Will Hughes, Republic of Ireland midfielder Jeff Hendrick and defenders Craig Forsyth and Jake Buxton also signing new deals.

"To get offered a five-year deal is unbelievable and especially to do it at such a big club like Derby," said Bryson.

"I think I've shown my commitment to everybody. Sometimes you're at the right club. I had the chance to go to the Premier League, but I chose to stay at Derby.

"I just decided that I wanted to be at Derby and be a part of what we're creating here."

Bryson has played 134 matches and found the net 27 times since arriving at the iPro Stadium from Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock in 2011.