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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jul 2, 2006

Barwick: Sven's record is very impressive

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick insists Steve McClaren's involvement in England's last three major tournaments is a 'huge positive' when he new boss takes charge.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's reign as England coach came to an end with defeat to Portugal in the World Cup quarter-finals, but his legacy will remain as McClaren was among the Swede's coaching staff.

England could not make it past the last-eight stage in a major tournament under Eriksson, but Barwick remains optimistic about England's future under former Middlesbrough boss McClaren.

'England start again in August in a new era with a new coach and we have to be positive and we are positive about that,' said Barwick, who also met Luiz Felipe Scolari about the job before McClaren was appointed.

'What I see as a huge positive, and I've watched it up close in the last three weeks, is the value Steve has got from being around the players for a long time, focused on a major tournament.

'This is his third major tournament, he's been around these players for a long time and they have a huge respect for him. I've seen him coaching on the training pitch and he is ready to go, really ready to go.

'I've got huge optimism going forward.'

Barwick defended the appointment of Eriksson, who had a good record in competitive fixtures but could not reach a semi-final.

England were tipped as possible winners of this year's World Cup, although Barwick suggested just qualifying is most important part of the England boss' job.

'First and foremost the England coach has to qualify for major tournaments,' said Barwick on Sky Sports News. 'We've seen over the last three weeks exactly what England in a major tournament is about - 30million people galvanised.

'We succeeded to qualify for three, I've been around long enough to remember World Cups where England were not there. Let's state qualifying as a positive then we need to get through group stages which we have done.

'My view is that we're always trying to make progress and we leave Germany a little bit early.

'Sven's done fantastically well, I've enjoyed his company and knew him before I took this job 18 months ago. He's been a very good coach for England and has had the respect of the players, the respect of his coaching staff and I wish him well.

'His record is very impressive really.'

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