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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 14:45 GMT
Sacked McClaren admits 'failure'
Steve McClaren
McClaren said he is a better coach now than 18 months ago
Steve McClaren has admitted his reign as England coach was a "failure" after being relieved of the job by Football Association officials.

His contract was terminated after the team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

"I believed I was up to the job when I took it and I still believe it now. But obviously, you are judged by results.

"I said right at the start I would live and die by results and results haven't gone my way. In that sense we have failed," he commented.

McClaren's position became untenable after Wednesday's 3-2 defeat to Croatia at Wembley.

I will recover, bounce back and wait for my next challenge. I'm not one to lie on a beach.
Steve McClaren, former England coach

But he insisted he was a better manager than when he took on the job 18 months ago and would be looking to obtain a new job as soon as possible.

"Obviously there's going to be a clamour for a new head coach. The future is the future, all I can do is concentrate on getting over this huge disappointment and looking forward.

"Although it is a sad day I will recover, bounce back and wait for my next challenge. I'm not one to lie on a beach," he said.

Former Middlesbrough manager McClaren refused to be drawn on a a number of issues raised by reporters - most notably what went wrong - insisting that these were up for discussion "another day".

McClaren also refused to be drawn on the "root and branch" review of the England senior team set up, to be undertaken by the FA.

"Whatever the problems I don't think it's for me today - it's a wider issue and a bigger issue. I'm sure I'll speak to [chief executive] Brian [Barwick] on that issue.


But he insisted that despite the problems both he and some of his predecssors had encountered, he did not regard managing England as an "impossible job".

He said: "It is a huge challenge but it is also an honour and I would not regard it as a poisoned chalice at all."

Talking about the motivation of the England players he has managed, McClaren said: "These are professional footballers who want to play for England.

"All I will say is they are a pleasure to work with, they really want to achieve. Unfortunately we have come up short and we all take responsibility.

"After the disappointment and the criticism we need to get behind our football players.

"I take full responsibility, results haven't gone our way and we haven't qualified and I've paid the price."

McClaren, who had a four-year deal, is expected to be paid more than 2m in compensation and with ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho declaring a lack of interest in the post, Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill is the bookies' favourites to succeed him.

But the FA has plenty of time to search for a replacement with England's next scheduled fixture a friendly in France at the end of March.

Former England captain Bryan Robson says the search for McClaren's successor should not be conducted by those on the FA board alone.

"For me there should be a system where people like Sir Bobby Robson, Terry Venables, Graham Taylor - people who've got vast experience - should have a say in who the next England manager is," he said.

"I don't see why they don't have an input because of the knowledge they've got."

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