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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Tuesday, 8 March 2011

England post lacks closeness with players - McClaren


England must win major prize to succeed - McClaren

Former England boss Steve McClaren has said he missed the intensity of club management during his time in charge of the national team.

McClaren spent 16 months leading the England team but was sacked in 2007 after they missed out on qualification for Euro 2008.

"We never had that closeness, or day-to-day involvement and development," McClaren told BBC Late Kick Off.

"The thing I struggled with was the non-activity between games."

McClaren added: "We tried to visit clubs, and have get-togethers, but the one big thing was the unpredictability of England get-togethers.

"I spoke to Fabio Capello last week, and he said how you do depends on who is fit, and that is the most frustrating thing with England.

"We went into many games without our best players, due to injuries."

England's sole World Cup win came under Sir Alf Ramsey in 1966, with Bobby Robson's Italia 1990 campaign, when they lost in the semi-finals, the closest they have come to replicating that success.

As a player McClaren scored 18 goals in 305 league appearances for five clubs
After moving into coaching he worked with Jim Smith at Derby and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United
Middlesbrough was his first managerial post, leading the club to the 2006 Uefa Cup final against Sevilla in Eindhoven

England have never won the European Championships, although Terry Venables led his Euro 96 side to a semi-final defeat on home soil.

Despite the lack of international success England are routinely listed among the favourites at major tournaments, in part down to the impressive performances of domestic sides in European competition.

"You have to win something to be successful, that's the criteria," McClaren said.

"Can you do it? I think that's very difficult. Every tournament it's 'we could do it this time' and we don't do it.

"It's part and parcel of the game, in one respect it undermines the manager in the face of the players, and also the expectations from the players, there's the pressure they don't get every week.

"I've been in other countries, and seen some of the press talking about the national teams and players which is just as harsh, but I've got to say that it's something that you really have to deal with, that kind of pressure."

Since being sacked by England, McClaren rebuilt his career in the Netherlands with FC Twente.

He led the Dutch side to a first league title in 2009-10, having previously taken them into the Champions League as runners-up.

Wolfsburg then offered him the chance to coach in the German Bundesliga, an arrangement which lasted just 10 months before he was sacked last month.

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see also
McClaren dismissed by Wolfsburg
07 Feb 11 |  Football
McClaren 'an option for England'
06 Oct 10 |  Football
McClaren bemoans talent 'vacuum'
16 Jul 10 |  Football
McClaren appointed Wolfsburg boss
11 May 10 |  Europe
McClaren's Twente win Dutch title
02 May 10 |  Europe
McClaren turns Dutch master
30 Apr 10 |  Europe
McClaren sacked as England coach
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Where it went wrong for England
18 Oct 07 |  Internationals
McClaren starts as England coach
01 Aug 06 |  Sport
McClaren commits to Middlesbrough
27 Jan 06 |  Middlesbrough
McClaren set for Boro challenge
11 Jun 01 |  Middlesbrough

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