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Trending: Leicester City shock Liverpool


Ndidi could be better than Kante

By ESPN Staff

McClaren rounds up new backroom staff

Steve McClaren will call his former Middlesbrough assistant Steve Round into the England set-up to replace Sammy Lee.

Round, 35, will work with the senior national team on a part-time basis around their matches and will continue in his full-time job at Boro, where he is now a key figure in the backroom team of new manager Gareth Southgate.

Round started his coaching career at Derby, where his playing days were cut short by injury, and then moved to Teesside to join McClaren.

He moved through the ranks from reserve team coach and was made assistant manager last year.

Round steps into the role of Lee, who cut his ties with the Football Association yesterday after rejecting the chance to coach the under-21 team.

He has scope to bring another person into the backroom team if England are to maintain the same managerial numbers they had under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Sports psychologist Bill Beswick could be the man who steps into a non-coaching role on the staff.

Beswick, another former colleague of McClaren's at Middlesbrough, stepped down from his role at the Riverside at the end of last season.

The England manager will present his backroom team at a press conference on Friday, when he will also name his squad for next week's friendly against Greece.

McClaren offered some clues to the players in his squad when Theo Walcott, Scott Carson and Darren Bent were all named in the England Under-21 squad for next week's game against Moldova in Ipswich.

West Ham duo Nigel Reo-Coker and Anton Ferdinand - both thought to be in contention for a senior call-up - have also selected by Peter Taylor for Tuesday's European Championship qualifier.

There was no under-21 place for Spurs winger Aaron Lennon, 19, who should keep his place in the senior squad after some impressive displays at the World Cup.

McClaren said: 'I wanted Darren, Scott and Theo to have the chance to play some competitive under-21s football.

'They are still very much in my plans. I see the under-21s as a very important stepping stone to the senior team and I will keep a close eye on them this season.'

The inclusion of strikers Walcott and Bent in the under-21 squad strengthens the suggestion that Dean Ashton could be set for his first call-up to the full England squad and Jermain Defoe looks certain to get a recall.

McClaren may recall Scott Parker to midfield in the absence of Joe Cole and Michael Carrick, who are both injured.

Carson's switch to the under-21s opens the door again for Chris Kirkland, who is fit again after moving to Wigan on loan this summer, or Manchester United reserve Ben Foster, who impressed McClaren when he was on stand-by for the World Cup.

It is probably too soon for Robert Green who is only just back in action after tearing his groin in the England B international against Belarus in May.

Owen Hargreaves, meanwhile, has completed his turnaround from zero to hero in the eyes of England fans by being voted the team's best player in the World Cup, ahead of Rio Ferdinand, Joe Cole, David Beckham and John Terry.

Hargreaves was booed onto the pitch as a sub in the first game of the tournament against Paraguay but hailed a hero after an outstanding performance against Portugal in the quarter-final.

The Bayern Munich midfielder said: 'Any time you can have the public's support is great. Obviously before the World Cup I got a taste of the other side of it but it is far better to be on the positive side.'