However, McClaren believes that his players have shown during pre-season that they are ready to launch another promotion bid this term.
"The players and squad are together as one and we talked about that at the end of last season, and they're committed to the club," he told Derby's official website.
"They were committed last season and I know they are now to do it again this time around. We've lost a few players through loans, that happens, but it was vital that we kept the majority of the squad together.
"The squad has been our strength so we can't weaken it."
Derby finished third in the Championship last season.