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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 September 2007, 07:02 GMT 08:02 UK
Awesome England thrill McClaren

Steve McClaren
McClaren has plenty of reasons to smile at the moment
Coach Steve McClaren was delighted after England's 3-0 win over Russia in their Euro 2008 qualifying match - days after beating Israel by the same score.

McClaren said: "They were both great wins but it was also about the performances and the way we did it. I think we blew the two teams away.

"I am delighted with the players' performances and their attitude.

"The squad has knuckled down and when it was time to deliver, we did. We should not be afraid of anybody."

England are now second in qualifying Group E, three points behind unbeaten leaders Croatia and two ahead of Russia.

McClaren's team have to play Estonia and Croatia at Wembley with a trip to Russia falling between the home fixtures.

And the England coach added: "We will celebrate the win because it was a great result but we still have three games to go and we can get better.

We are not afraid of anyone, we've a great spirit and we are on a run

England goalkeeper Paul Robinson

"It is going to be a tough game in Russia, that is going to be the key match. But we still have more games left and have not qualified yet.

"However, the last two performances are encouraging - it has put down a marker for everyone else."

Striker Michael Owen scored twice against Russia, giving England the lead on seven minutes and doubling the advantage on 31 minutes - with Rio Ferdinand completing the scoring late on.

And Owen told BBC Sport: "It has been a great few days. Two massive, important games (against Israel and Russia) - and we performed when it mattered.

"It is nice to win over the critics. We know we have quality in the side but we have not shown it often enough.


"It's lovely to give a good performance and kill games off so quickly.

"In these last two games, we've blown people away in the first 20 minutes, half an hour, and not even had to play to our maximum in our second half.

"It's not often you get an enjoyable game with England, where you can take your foot off the gas, and it was certainly enjoyable today."

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson said that England said that the results had boosted confidence levels within the squad.

"We are not afraid of anyone," said Robinson, who was under pressure for his place before the two qualifying games after an unconvincing performance in the 2-1 friendly defeat to Germany.

Estonia (h) - 13/10/2007
Russia (a) - 17/10/2007
Croatia (h) - 21/11/2007

"We have a great team spirit and we are on a run. Confidence is a big factor.

"We got an early goal against Israel and it has gone from there. A week is a long time in football but we take nothing for granted.

"The only two goals we have conceded in qualifying were the ones in Croatia so we are really pleased."

Russia coach Guus Hiddink feels that his side still have a big part to play in the outcome of the group.

Particularly as he suggested his side were unfortunate to lose at Wembley.

"The way we played was OK, but we lacked a cutting edge - while England did finish off their chances," he said.

"If we had scored after half-time when we were putting pressure on England, maybe it would have been a different game.

"We forced England to play on the counter-attack at their home ground, but we could not finish off our chances. It is a lesson for my team, who are still in development."

Rejuvenated Owen boosts England
13 Sep 07 |  Internationals
England 3-0 Russia
12 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Hiddink has no regrets on England
11 Sep 07 |  Internationals
Micah Richards column
11 Sep 07 |  Football
Pick your England XI
31 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Euro 2008 tables
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
England 3-0 Israel
08 Sep 07 |  Internationals


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