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McClaren lines up Barton
13 Dec 2006 - 07:56:57
Manchester City's Joey Barton could be in line for an England call up after head coach Steve McClaren revealed his admiration for the combative midfielder.
McClaren admitted he has been monitoring the often controversial career of the 24-year-old since he tried to sign him during his spell in charge of Middlesbrough.
"Joey is a leader with great character. You need forthright people like that, on and off the field," said McClaren. "He has had his troubles but he has come through them.
"He is a player who has matured over the year.
"I tried to buy Joey when I was at Middlesbrough so he is a player who interests me."
Meanwhile, McClaren has asked for patience as he attempts to revitalise England following their World Cup debacle.
The former Manchester United number two has come under pressure following a string of poor Euro 2008 qualifying results but insists he is the right man for the job.
"Rome was not built in a day," he said. "It is where you end up, not where you are after the initial period.
"We are talking about qualifying for the Euros and we are talking about the World Cup, so are you going to start judging after four or five months?
"It's got to be a long-term. You have to develop things and that is what we are going to do."