March 28, 2007 / 10:19 PM / 11 years ago

Soccer-McClaren cuts short conference after tepid England win

BARCELONA, March 28 (Reuters) - England coach Steve McClaren gave a glimpse of the tremendous pressure he is under as he cut short a news conference after his side’s largely unimpressive 3-0 victory over Andorra in a Euro 2008 qualifier on Wednesday.

McClaren and his players were booed and taunted from many of the 16,000 England fans who travelled to neutral Barcelona for the match.

After the game his press conference at the Olympic Stadium lasted less than two minutes and ended with him telling reporters: “Nothing concerns me outside, what you write or what people say. What matters is inside. There’s a great determination to prove people wrong.

“So, gentlemen, if you want to write whatever you want to write you can write it. Because that’s all I’m going to say.”

During the match many fans repeated the taunts heard in Israel last Saturday where England drew 0-0 by chanting “What a load of rubbish” and “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”

Even though England won easily in the end, the chants continued with “We still want McClaren out.”

The victory was completed with two goals from Steven Gerrard and one from substitute David Nugent.

Before leaving abruptly leaving the reporters, McClaren said he was proud at the way England’s players came through a difficult night.

He said: “We came here to win the game and it was important to do that. The lads got the job done.

“Yes, in difficult conditions, both on the field and off the the players came through. I’m proud of them. I said at half time you have to show real guts and character to come through all this - and they did that.

“There’s no concern for myself, but I thought it was very, very difficult for the players. There are probably quite a few of them who have grown up tonight.”

Andorra coach David Rodrigo was delighted with his team’s performance, in which they frustrated their more illustrious opponents for so long.

He said: “It was an almost perfect performance tactically. Apart from Gerrard and Lennon their players were controlled.

“After they scored the first goal they went up and we went down as we had a lot of tired players. But I’m very happy with the way we played.”

Rodrigo did have a word of encouragement for England, however, suggesting they can still qualify.

He said: “I think it’s going to be between Russia and England to get that second place and Croatia will be first.”

That at least will be some consolation to McClaren. He needs all the positives he can find at the moment.

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