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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 06:35 GMT
McClaren ready to manage abroad
By Simon Austin

Steve McClaren
McClaren was sacked as England boss in November

Former England manager Steve McClaren is willing to take a job overseas or in the Football League in order to get back into management.

McClaren says he has turned down several job offers since being sacked as England boss in November.

"My next job will be about the person employing me as much as anything - he has to have vision and be ambitious," McClaren told BBC Sport.

"It might be abroad, in the second division or in the Championship."

He added: "It's got to be a challenge. Before I went to Middlesbrough, Sir Alex Ferguson told me 'Pick the chairman, not the club'.

"And I was lucky I picked Steve Gibson, who believed in my philosophy and gave me time.

"Given time, if you have got the right philosophy, you will succeed.

"When Kevin Keegan first went to Newcastle, they were bottom of the then Second Division.


"He took them into the Premier League and then to second place. That sort of thing is possible and excites me as much as starting in the Premier League."

McClaren spent time watching the coaching methods at Barcelona and Espanyol last week and admits a job at a European club would appeal to him.

"It's something I would never dismiss and which, in fact, excites me," he said.

"The key thing is getting the experience of different cultures. We shouldn't be insular and think the English Premier League is the be all and end all.

"I have had offers, mainly from abroad, but none that has really excited me."

The 46-year-old believes his 18-month tenure as England boss, which ended when the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008, has made him a better manager.

He conceded: "I'm not daft, I realise it was damaging not qualifying, but I have got so much faith in my ability and believe the 18 months was great experience for any future job.

Fabio Capello
Capello has emphasised discipline since succeeding McClaren

"What more does anyone have to go through? I'm not bitter and never regret taking that job - I was given an opportunity that not many people get."

Much has been made of the emphasis that Fabio Capello has placed on discipline since succeeding McClaren as England boss.

McClaren, in contrast, was often accused of being too informal and familiar with his players.

"We called each other by nicknames but how I work has been successful the majority of the time, so I am going to stick by that," he said.

"What works for some, does not work for others. I am a player-oriented coach and manager and always will be.

"It is about getting the best out of your players and establishing a relationship with them and having respect and trust on both sides.

"I believe we have established that wherever I've been, even with England for six and a half years."

McClaren, who was also part of Sven-Goran Eriksson's coaching staff when the Swede was England boss, says the lack of English players in the Premier League hindered the national team's progress and will also hamper Capello.

He stated: "Of course it's a hindrance. Look at the facts - in the Premier League, 38% of players playing on any one Saturday are English.

"And how many of those are playing for the top four? How many are playing in Europe?

Whenever England fail, people question the attitude of the players, whereas that's the last thing wrong

Steve McClaren

"This is the key. The England manager needs English players playing at the top, in European football, because that is the closest experience to international football.

"The Italian and Spanish leagues have got 65, 70% of players from their nationalities. We have to get more English players of the talent and quality to play for the top teams and to get experience in Europe.

"I look at the current crop of players and they are a good squad and can achieve more.

"But it's worrying what is coming through underneath. We maybe have 15, 16 playing in Europe and at the top.

"Maybe 10 or 15 years ago, you could pick from 40 or 50 English players. If one got injured, a replica came in of the same quality.

"That needs addressing and we must make sure that in five or 10 years we have got a conveyor belt of players coming through, like they have in Spain, France or Italy."

McClaren says the fact he brought Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch on as second-half substitutes in the 3-2 defeat by Croatia at Wembley in November was symptomatic of the problem.

Each player had played only a handful of matches for their club sides before that game.

"That is not right, that can't happen," said McClaren.

The former Middlesbrough manager also argues that the technique and tactical nous of English players must improve for the national team to thrive on the international stage.

"I spoke to Thierry Henry and Eidur Gudjohnsen last week and they said 'Whichever team you play in Spain, the technique is amazing'."

Former Arsenal striker Henry and ex-Chelsea forward Gudjohnsen are now at Barcelona and McClaren added: "You can't lose the strength of the English game, the work-rate, the commitment but we do need to improve technique and tactical intelligence.

"Whenever England fail, people question the attitude of the players, whereas that's the last thing wrong."

A Premier League spokesman responded: "Premier League clubs are committed to finding, and developing, the best English players possible and currently invest over 40m a season in their academies."

  • Listen to Mark Pougatch's in-depth interview with Steve McClaren on 5 Live Sport from 1900 GMT.

    The challenges that face Fabio Capello
    05 Feb 08 |  Internationals
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    13 Jan 08 |  Internationals
    McClaren hopes for top-flight job
    11 Jan 08 |  Internationals
    Capello named new England manager
    14 Dec 07 |  Internationals
    Sacked McClaren admits 'failure'
    22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
    McClaren sacked as England coach
    22 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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