Date: 30th March 2007 at 1:11pm
Written by:

With GR occupying the prime position as Sky Sports News` soundbites man for the various press parties, he`s come out ahead of the match with Man City to talk about Sheepteeth McClaren`s time as England coach so far:

‘It is disappointing how heavy the criticism of Steve has been. But he will know, I will know, every manager knows what the rules of being a manager are. If you win you get plenty of pats on the back, if you don’t win or you don’t play well then you get stick. Some of it nowadays is without doubt over the top. I feel as much as anything, the England team is lacking in confidence.

I was in Portugal at the weekend watching a Portugal team which is full of confidence, and that is what we are lacking at the moment. We don’t look confident at the moment. I thought they looked pretty nervous against Andorra on Wednesday night and there is only so much a manager can do once they have crossed that line.

But I think the lads need to regain the confidence with the England shirt and then we will be fine. If it is not [the top job], then I don’t think the person concerned is as ambitious as he should be. If that opportunity comes knocking, and it only comes for the few, then you have to make that decision to take a job that has been described as a poisoned chalice; in many respects it is.

The expectations for England in my opinion far outweighs its achievement since 1966 when we last won a major tournament, the World Cup. You have to take that weight of expectation with you and try and produce a winning team. We need to find a winning formula for Steve and hopefully he will find that quickly.’