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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 25, 2007

Barwick: Chance for revenge against Croatia

England's new manager will be faced with the same challenge that did for Steve McClaren: getting past Croatia to qualify for a major tournament.

The qualifying draw for the 2010 World Cup in Durban saw England placed in Group 6 with top seeds Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Andorra.

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick said: 'It's an opportunity at a competitive level to pit our wits against a team that did us twice and an opportunity for the new coach when he's with us so see whether he can turn around our fortunes against a very good team.

'The reality is we have to improve. It's easy to concentrate the group on these two teams but there's a lot of work to do elsewhere.

'There's a lot of travel facing us, the odd banana skin and a team that has beaten us twice in competitive games so there's a job of work to do.'

Barwick will meet the FA's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking on his return from South Africa to begin the process of finding McClaren's successor, but he would not be drawn on a time-frame or possible contenders.

He also said he was not worried about the number of managers ruling themselves out of the job, and that he understood the reaction of those fans who booed England players at Premier League matches this weekend.

Barwick added: 'I'm not deterred - I'm determined to get the right person the English footballing public is demanding that and it's my job to make sure we get that right.

'We know that England fans are very disappointed and feel let down. I can't support people being booed but they pay their money and if that's they way they wish to express it I can understand it.

'I think a huge part of what comes next is managing the intensity of the occasions, we have to make sure the players go on to the pitch feeling really good about themselves.

'Something I can bring to the party is how we can better manage that.'

Barwick said no decision had yet been made on whether England would play Scotland in a friendly in the summer.