It will take time, Burley tells fans

New Derby boss George Burley is confident he can guide the club back to the Premiership, but warned supporters they must be the First Division club.

New Derby boss George Burley is confident he can guide the club back to the Premiership, but warned supporters they must be patient.

The 47-year-old was officially confirmed as the new manager at Pride Park yesterday, after filling in on an interim basis following John Gregory's suspension and subsequent sacking by the First Division club.

Burley was initially brought in for the final seven games of last season to stave off the threat of relegation, and managed to fulfil his brief, taking nine points from a possible 21.

The former Ipswich chief made it clear he would be interested in making a permanent return despite the club's financial difficulties, and was delighted to finally pen a two-year deal.

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“Sometimes clubs go through difficult periods but I'm very optimistic about the future,” said Burley.

“Yes, there's a lot of work to be done but there's so much ambition to get back to those glory days of the 1970s.

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“It's not going to happen overnight. The last match of last season showed the Ipswich squad was far superior to ours and that is the reality of the situation. It's going to take time.

“My record at Ipswich speaks for itself and I'm optimistic because of the passion of the fans and the friendliness about the club.

“I will try my utmost to get Derby back to the Premiership as soon as possible, but I need to start from the roots,” he told Derby's official website, yesterday.

Burley was named manager of the year after steering Ipswich to fifth in the Premiership on their return to the top flight in 2000/2001, just four points behind runners-up Arsenal and close to qualifying for the Champions' League.

That earned the Suffolk club a place in the UEFA Cup, but their European adventure cost them dear in the Premiership, as they were relegated the same season, despite a post-Christmas rally.

Burley admits he will need to make significant changes to his squad if he is to help the Rams emulate the success he achieved at Portman Road.

He said: “We need to strengthen the squad. We lost too many players last season but there's room to bring people in and build a team and make it my team.

“Players have been offered contracts and the key for me is do they want to play for Derby County? If they don't, they can go. I need players who are committed to this club from day one.”

Midfielder Adam Murray and striker Lee Morris recently rejected the Rams' initial offer of new contracts, while the club are waiting on decisions from playmaker Giorgi Kinkladze and defender Richard Jackson.

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