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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 27, 2008

McClaren defends dodgy accent, backs Fabio

Steve McClaren is fully focused on the job of continuing FC Twente's progress towards regular Champions League football, with the 'problems' of England now someone else's concern. The former national team head coach has returned to London looking to overturn a 2-0 deficit at the Emirates Stadium tonight and so deny Arsenal a place among the elite clubs of Europe. Former Middlesbrough boss McClaren - assistant to Sven-Goran Eriksson in Germany two years ago - insists he takes no satisfaction in seeing the negative headlines about the direction the Three Lions are now heading. 'England is not my problem any more. The only thing I am worried about or bothered about is being successful with FC Twente,' he said. 'They have given me an opportunity to work in Holland at a good club with good people and I want to pay them back.' McClaren added: 'I had great affinity with them [England] for seven years. I don't like the reactions and I know the problems an England manager has more than anyone else, and people are finding that out now. 'Those problems will not go away. I have documented the problems before, and if you have an hour, I could document them again. 'It is an over-reaction to a defeat. I experienced that and we are experiencing it again, but England have one of the top managers in the world in Capello and I wish them good luck in the qualifiers.' McClaren returned to management during the summer when he was appointed by the Enschede club, who surprised Ajax to win their domestic play-off to have a crack at the Champions League for the first time. The former England boss has certainly made an impression in Holland - and has also become something of a celebrity on YouTube, where an interview in which he speaks English with a Dutch accent has received more than 150,000 hits. However, the Yorkshireman brushed off the suggestions of a comedy turn. He quipped: 'Well at least I am speaking English. 'It is just the way it is here (in Holland). It is so Dutch people can understand.' McClaren, though, will be certain to get his message across loud and clear tonight, when FC Twente will look for another decent performance - but with a better outcome than from the first leg in Arnhem where two late goals left them with a mountain to climb to make the group stage. 'It is going to be very difficult to pull back a two-goal deficit, especially against this side at home,' he said. 'After the game the players had a lot of belief that they could compete.'

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