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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 11:35 UK

McClaren relishes Dutch challenge

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren is excited after taking over as FC Twente coach

Former England coach Steve McClaren insists the challenge of broadening his football education was behind his move to take charge at FC Twente.

McClaren was officially unveiled as the new coach of the Dutch side, who are in the Champions League qualifiers, in Enschede on Tuesday.

He said: "Staying in one country can narrow your mind. I want to open mine and that's why I am here.

"I am here for the challenge and the experience of Dutch football."

FC Twente president Joop Munsterman revealed he had spoken to former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam and ex-Middlesbrough winger Bolo Zenden - who both worked under McClaren - about the appointment.

He said: "They were both very positive but said I had one problem - he wouldn't come here. Well here we are, and here he is in the exotic area of Enschede, and we are very happy."

I always remember Sir Alex telling me 'go for the owner as much as the club'

Steve McClaren

McClaren had kept Twente waiting after he was interviewed for the Blackburn manager's job, but was overlooked in favour of the relatively inexperienced Paul Ince.

"Because of the Blackburn interest, and because of time moving on, I had to make a decision - and this is the best move for me," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I always remember Sir Alex (Ferguson) telling me: 'Go for the owner as much as the club, make sure the club has history and tradition'.

"Well I've gone for both in Holland. They (Twente) are a very young team with experience, which has made tremendous progress in the last two seasons. From the first day I was excited."

Some Twente fans have opposed McClaren's appointment, who failed to lead England to Euro 2008 and follows the successful Fred Rutten, who left for Schalke 04 after guiding the club into the Champions League qualifiers.

But he said: "I spoke to Sir Bobby Robson, who said 'improve your education as a coach, you'll like the football and the people'. He said I may even like the press!


"I think FC Twente has a very good future and has a long way to go, but they have had success under Fred Rutten and his staff over the last two season and hopefully that will continue.

"I have always wanted to work abroad, especially after my experiences in European football with Manchester United, Middlesbrough and England. It has always excited me and is something I think can develop you as a coach."

McClaren - who has signed a two-year deal with Twente - was made a tabloid scapegoat following England's 3-2 defeat by Croatia in November, ending their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008.

But the 47-year-old insisted he would have had no qualms returning to English football.

"It's part of the parcel of English football dealing with the press," he said.

"It was the pressure I put on myself to be successful as a coach. The pressure to do well is internal and what I expect."

see also
McClaren ready to manage abroad
15 Feb 08 |  Football
McClaren hopes for top-flight job
11 Jan 08 |  Internationals
McClaren sacked as England coach
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals

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