McClaren pleased with confident England display

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

England boss Steve McClaren believes his side passed a very tricky test with flying colours.

He said: 'For the first 20 minutes, we set about our task, won challenges, competed.

'Eventually we knew they'd tire and we'd catch them and open them up.

'We needed to score that first goal - we got it. Then the rewards were in the second half, getting two more.

'We've gained a lot over the last two-and-a-half weeks in the get-togethers and in the games that we've had.

'Friday gave us a confidence, a belief that we've shown tonight.'

McClaren denied he had instructed David Beckham to stick to the right touchline.

He said: 'David Beckham knows how to play that position. He'll teach everybody else.

'He knows when to come in and when to pull wide.

'His delivery is second to none in those positions.'

McClaren revealed Beckham was desperate to stay on the field despite picking up an early injury,

'He wants to stay on,' he said. 'He wants to finish games. We said if we get the second or the third, we might think about bringing you off.

'He'd done the job, as had the team before that.'

But McClaren refused to be drawn on whether Los Angeles Galaxy-bound Beckham would be in his next squad for August's friendly against Germany.

He said: 'We'll see when the next squad is announced. He answers everybody with his performance on the field and I think he's done that in the last two games.'

McClaren was delighted Owen got on the scoresheet, saying: 'I'm so pleased for him getting that goal because it's so important for a goalscorer when coming back from injury. His work-rate was phenomenal.'

As for England's qualification hopes, McClaren added: 'We said it's important to win. We'll look at the table after that.

'We've got five games left, four at home, four at Wembley. We've already shown that Wembley can be a fortress for us.

'Any team coming to Wembley has got to fear us the way we're playing at the moment.'

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