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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
McClaren denies Rooney rift claim
Wayne Rooney and Steve McClaren
Rooney and McClaren are alleged to have had a bust-up after the game
Group E: Andorra v England
Date: Wednesday 28 March
Kick-off: 2000 BST
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Barcelona
Coverage: Live on BBC Five Live Sport, updates on the BBC Sport website, highlights on BBC 1 at 2240 BST

England manager Steve McClaren has denied reports of a weekend bust-up with star striker Wayne Rooney.

Reports claimed Rooney had reacted angrily to being singled out for criticism following the Euro 2008 qualifying draw in Israel.

But the under-fire McClaren said: "It's ridiculous. We couldn't believe it inside the camp.

"It is an absolute load of rubbish. Everyone is together and know what we need to do."

McClaren also dismissed newspaper suggestions that his relationship with his assistant Terry Venables had become strained.


He added: "An absolute load of rubbish once again. It's an overreaction and about people having other agendas. The camp is very strong and there is great belief.

"My staff are all very good and working together. We stick together, we get advice from everybody including Terry - great advice. But, ultimately, I'm in charge and it's my neck on the block."

McClaren has come under increased pressure following the goalless draw in Tel Aviv.

It leaves England three points behind second-placed Russia and five adrift of group leaders Croatia.

England have now gone five games without a win and managed only one goal during that time but McClaren said he believed the main reason for the failure in Israel was missed chances.

He said: "We dominated possession, we had 17 chances - nine of them on target - and on another day we'd have won it comfortably two or three nil.

"We went to Israel for a win and played as if we wanted to win but we had to accept a draw.

"We have to win against Andorra and Estonia and then we have five games to go. They will be big games and that's when it will be decided."

McClaren laughed off any talk of him considering his position.

He said: "My desire is greater than ever. We know what direction we have to go and we know we need to produce and perform.

"We understand the fans' reaction and everyone else's but we feel it was over the top."

Skipper John Terry revealed that the coach had let rip on the players after they walked off the pitch on Saturday.

He stated: "It certainly felt like a defeat walking into the dressing room after the game. It was dead. The manager had his rant and rave and rightly so.


"What happened in there stays inside the dressing room. That's between us and we'll talk about it a lot more.

"But it was mainly just sheer silence amongst the lads and more frustration within ourselves that we haven't come away with three points."

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who has failed to score in 10 competitive games, admitted England may have to win all of their games to qualify.

"We have to be realistic. We know we have to win a good proportion of our remaining games - if not every one," he commented.

"We have a lot of home games to come at the new Wembley and we can't be negative about things and get our heads down. We all know there is a great deal of work to be done to get to where we want to be in 2008.

"Most definitely we've got the players in the squad capable of doing that and now it's important we stand up and be counted and do the business."

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