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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
McClaren targets win over Russia

Steve McClaren
McClaren faces a selection dilemma after strong displays from the likes of Heskey, Wright-Phillips and Barry
England coach Steve McClaren praised his side's win over Israel - but was quick to demand a repeat performance against Russia at Wembley on Wednesday.

"It was a good win and a good performance," McClaren told BBC Sport after the 3-0 win at Wembley in the Euro 2008 qualifier.

"But we have to follow it up on Wednesday, that is the key message.

"We played as a team, the crowd really got behind the team and we will need that on Wednesday."

Russia, who beat Macedonia 3-0 on Saturday, have one more point than McClaren's side, who lie third in Group E, three points behind leaders Croatia.

I'm sure Russia will watch our video and not relish coming to Wembley on that performance

England coach Steve McClaren

"It was important to win," said McClaren. "I would have taken 1-0, I'm pleased with three but disappointed we did not score more, but the performance was the icing on the cake. They played very well today.

"They made Israel look ordinary. I'm sure Russia will watch our video and not relish coming to Wembley on that performance.

"We made it a comfortable win against a difficult side. Russia will be as tough and we need the same performance. We've set a standard and have to do it again on Wednesday."

Shaun Wright-Phillips gave England a 20th minute-lead against an unambitious Israel side, with Michael Owen and Micah Richards scoring after the break.

"There has been a lot of pressure on Shaun but he has been in good form for Chelsea and he exploited the weaknesses of Israel's full-backs," added McClaren.


The England coach also made a special point of praising Wigan striker Emile Heskey, who made his first England start in over three years.

"Emile did his job," said McClaren. "He made life difficult for Israel's defenders. He is a more mature player and handled the situation well.

"No-one likes playing against him. His attitude and work rate was the main thing. He and Michael Owen combined well and always have done.

"I said we had players in that dressing room who were good enough.

"The likes of Gareth Barry were excellent. So were Wright-Phillips and Heskey. Barry has quality and showed he could handle the stage, the big occasion."

There has been a lot of criticism and pressure on him.... typical Michael Owen, he answers it with three goals in three games

Steve McClaren

Owen's return to form was a big positive for England.

"I'm delighted for him," said McClaren after seeing the Newcastle frontman score the 38th England goal of his career.

"There has been a lot of criticism and pressure on him. Typical Michael Owen, he answers it with three goals in three games."

McClaren is hoping Owen Hargreaves will be fit for Wednesday but admitted fellow midfielder Frank Lampard was "struggling."

Steven Gerrard, who played without a pain-killing injection in his fractured toe, was substituted in the second-half after suffering from cramp.

Meanwhile, Israel manager Dror Kashtan criticised Dutch referee Peter Vink, insisting England's first goal was offside and the third followed a foul on goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

We conceded a goal which was clear offside and then one from a clear foul on our goalkeeper

Israel manager Dror Kashtan

He also claimed Mr Vink made an objectionable remark to Israel, Liverpool midfielder captain Yossi Benayoun, but would not elaborate on what it was.

Kashtan said: "Obviously there were gaps between us and England and there are massive gaps between Israel football and English football.

"That was evident here today. But we conceded a goal which was clear offside and then one from a clear foul on our goalkeeper and then the referee was giving free-kicks all the time to our opponents on the edge of area.

"He also used certain sentences to our captain which are not worthy of an official. These are not excuses, these are simple facts."

Kashtan, however, praised England's physical presence, especially that of Heskey.

"It was tough containing Emile Heskey," he said. "He was knocking balls down to Owen and Gerrard all the time.

"Our players had an off-day today. England prevented us from going forward. We did not have a clear-cut chance."

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