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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
McClaren unfazed by media blitz
England coach Steve McClaren
McClaren has been boosted by England's win over Estonia
England coach Steve McClaren says he has been able to cope with the media criticism he has faced since taking over from Sven-Goran Eriksson.

McClaren has been subjected to intense scrutiny as a below-par England have struggled in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

"I haven't been low, but now we have a break and you want the next game to come," said McClaren as he reflected on England's 3-0 away win over Estonia.

"After adversity and criticism you want to get back on," added McClaren.

And Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick believes the criticism will make McClaren a better and stronger manager.

We're in contention now for the run-in

England coach Steve McClaren

"I sense that Steve is stronger for having come through the tests of the past few months," said Barwick.

"Some supporters crossed the line with the vitriolic personal abuse aimed at Steve in Barcelona when we played Andorra at the end of March.

"That Andorra experience was genuinely unpleasant. It came off the back of a performance in Israel that got roundly criticised although before qualifying began, people would have said a draw in Israel was good enough.

"Steve has come through all that and there's a real steel about him. I remain very confident in him. He has taken a big job and he understands the scale of the job now."

After Wednesday's Euro 2008 qualifiers, Croatia and Israel top the Group E on 17 points, with Russia two points adrift and England a further point behind.

McClaren attributed England's stuttering start in the Euro 2008 qualifiers to their disappointing exit from the 2006 World Cup and injuries to key players.


"It was a big hangover from the World Cup and many big teams have experienced that, and we had to get over that," said McClaren.

"We've been hit a lot by injuries, we haven't had a goalscorer, and we've come under severe criticism and possibly, at times, rightly so.

"We've not turned the corner but we're in a far better position now than we were two months ago.

"Now we need five performances like we've had against Estonia and Brazil.

"We're in contention now for the run-in and it's up to us."

Estonia 0-3 England
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Hiddink tips England to top group
07 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Beckham commits to England cause
07 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Comment: Relief for McClaren
06 Jun 07 |  Football
Graham Taylor's verdict
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals
Croatia held by Russia in Zagreb
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals


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