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Feb, 26, 2013

McClaren leaves Twente

Steve McClaren has parted company with Dutch club FC Twente.

The former England boss has been under pressure from fans and media alike for some weeks after having gone six games without a win.

The drop in form has led to the side slipping down to fifth place in the Eredivisie, six points behind league leaders PSV Eindhoven.

Despite being given a vote of confidence by chairman Joop Munsterman on Monday, McClaren has decided it is in the club's best interests for him to step aside - although he insists he was on course to achieve his targets for the season.

"We've had criticism, protests and demonstrations from both supporters and media about the results and performances, especially in the last six games, which has been surprising given that the expectations of Twente has always been European qualification and that we should be in the top four," he told Sky Sports News.

"During the winter break we were joint-top and even four weeks ago, after the Feyenoord away game, we were second in the league. But the last six games have seen the pressure and intensity build up... we needed support and I felt that it was not forthcoming.

"The club is always bigger than any individual and I've looked at both sides of it and after a great deal of deliberation I think it's best to relieve the pressure from the team, relieve it from the club and from the board. The club can move on, the fans can get behind the team again and hopefully achieve what they should be achieving."

McClaren added in an official statement: "Unfortunately, Saturday's result (a 2-1 defeat at Heerenveen) has seen further adverse reactions and with two home games coming up, we (McClaren and Munsterman) feel the team needs the support and backing from the supporters. I also needed assurances about my position now and in the future, which I appreciate in the present situation is difficult.

"After much discussion and deliberation, those assurances weren't forthcoming and we have agreed it's in the best interest of the club going forward that I leave. The club is bigger than any one individual and Twente is too big in my heart to stand in the way of its progress.''

Alfred Schreuder has been installed as caretaker boss for a period of four weeks while a suitable replacement for McClaren is found. He will be assisted by the technical team of Boudewijn Pahlplatz and Youri Mulder.

Schreuder, though, says he is not planning on making any radical changes during his spell in charge of first-team duties.

"I do not see why things should be different,'' Schreuder told ad.nl. "In the second half at Heerenveen this weekend we played very well. We can make progress. In the details, everyone else thinks about football, but in general we will continue in the same way.''

Schreuder admits he does have ambitions to be a full-time head coach one day, but says he is not quite ready for the responsibility yet.

"Not like this,'' he said. "Moreover, it is too early for me. I do not have the qualifications for the highest level. It is sad that it should be done in this way. But in football you must make a quick turnaround. We are all going now hard at work.''

McClaren first joined Twente as manager in 2008, leading the club to their first-ever Eredivisie title in the 2009-2010 season. He parted ways with the side in 2010 to pursue challenges at Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest, before returning for his second stint in January 2012.

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