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McClaren backed by Fergie

09 Feb 2007 - 14:29:46

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has defended his former assistant, Steve McClaren, who came in for heavy criticism after England's friendly defeat to Spain.

Ferguson believes that the former United number two and Middlesbrough boss needs to be given time to make his mark after succeeding Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He told reporters: "Steve won't be enjoying what is happening to him because nobody enjoys being criticised. But I have no doubts about his ability, absolutely none.

"The FA has given the job to a man with great potential and he should be supported, because it would be a shame if that potential was not realised.

"The way the media in particular are reacting has created a situation where the England players are fearing bad performances. That in itself has a detrimental effect.

"Steve does not have a great deal of experience in terms of top management. But he has the experience of being Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant and he also has fantastic potential.

"I don't see how the way the media are handling this situation can elicit any kind of positive response.

"But you might regret it ten years' time, because Steve could go back into club football and do exceptionally well because he will have more experience."

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