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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 13, 2006

McClaren picks up tips from Lippi

England boss Steve McClaren has been taking tips from Italy's World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi.

McClaren and Lippi are among 72 national coaches in Berlin for a FIFA conference looking back at the World Cup, and the England manager was hugely impressed by the Italian's presentation.

McClaren said: 'Players win tournaments but coaches affect games by tactics and substitutions, and Lippi proved to be a master of that.

'In his presentation, he stressed that teams win football matches, championships and tournaments, he also stressed the team ethic and said it was important that France or Italy were both nations who had a point to prove.

'He said the adversity, the (match-fixing) scandal in Italy, had brought the players closer together and that they were stronger as a unit for that, plus the flexibility and adaptability of his players.'

McClaren said the conference was helping him to pick up ideas from other coaches. McClaren has not had the benefit of predecessor Sven-Goran Eriksson's wisdom however - the Swede had been invited to speak alongside Lippi but pulled out at the last minute.

McClaren added: 'This is the beauty of this sort of event, you get all the top coaches all in one room - there are 72 here - and all willing to open up and share their views.

'This is where you learn and develop - by talking to people and going through the same experiences as you.

'That's what develops you as an individual that hopefully will make me a better coach.'

McClaren has also promised to consider the claims of several hopefuls - including Jonathan Woodgate and Ledley King - when he picks his next England squad for two Euro 2008 qualifiers next month.

The England head coach has insisted he will not 'close the door' on anyone - and said that in-form veterans David James and Sol Campbell would also be given consideration.

James and Campbell have contributed to four successive clean sheets for Portsmouth while Woodgate was hugely influential for Middlesbrough against Arsenal at the weekend and Tottenham defender King has just come back from injury.

McClaren said: 'I'll never close the door on anybody, and David James and Sol Campbell are two examples. To get in the England team you have to perform well at your clubs, you get recognition, you may get an opportunity.

'We are looking at a lot of other players outside of the squad. The likes of James, Campbell - they are not discarded. Ledley King has come back to fitness, Woodgate has joined Boro and did well on Saturday.

'We are also looking at the likes of Scott Parker, (Jimmy) Bullard and Kevin Nolan.

'These players who may be off the radar at the moment, believe you me we are keeping an eye on them. We are watching them every game because the squad we have in two years may not be the squad we have now.'

England play Macedonia at Old Trafford on October 7 and then face an intimidating trip to Croatia, one of the stronger teams in Group E and who will be backed by their renowned fanatical supporters in Zagreb.

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