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By ESPN Staff

Neville backs McClaren to stay in England job

Phil Neville believes Steve McClaren is still the right man to take England forward and that the players need to take more responsibility.

The Everton captain worked under McClaren at Manchester United where he was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant and has nothing but respect for the national team manager.

Neville said: 'Two years ago Steve McClaren was the best man for the job for me. People were calling for an English coach and we got the best one.

'Even if we do not qualify he is still the best man for the job.'

England's hopes of reaching Euro 2008 are out of their hands after the defeat by Russia in Moscow.

McClaren is looking for a favour from Israel or Macedonia who face Russia and Croatia respectively this weekend.

Neville believes England should have sealed their place in Austria and Switzerland by now.

'The players should take the responsibility on why we have not qualified, ' he said. 'We should go through given the quality we have in the squad.'

Neville remains convinced England's match against Croatia at Wembley a week on Wednesday will be crucial.

He said: 'I firmly believe Israel of Macedonia will do us a favour. It is not nice relying on other teams. But these are difficult places to go to as we found out.

'I would love to go into the Croatia match with us needing three points to qualify. It could be the best atmosphere at Wembley since the 1966 World Cup.'