Steve McClaren admits mistakes during England tenure

Steve McClaren
McClaren on the night of his final game in charge of England

Former England manager Steve McClaren admits he made mistakes during his spell in charge of the national team.

The Nottingham Forest boss was in charge for 16 months but was sacked after England lost 3-2 to Croatia and failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

"It was difficult in the beginning, in the middle and difficult at the end," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"[The job] was a lot of pressure, a lot of adversity and yeah I made mistakes, and ultimately a big failure."

McClaren, a former Hull, Bristol City and Oxford United midfielder, began his coaching career with Derby before moving on to work under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

His success at Old Trafford, including the 1999 treble-winning season, led to him taking his first managerial position with Middlesbrough in 2001.

The Yorkshireman won the Carling Cup in 2004 to earn Boro their first major trophy and also led the Teessiders to the Uefa Cup final in 2006, before replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson as England boss.

"Whoever you get as England manager there is always some people who are going to say 'hopeless, no, that's a bad choice,'" he said on his initial appointment.

"For 18 months it was the most difficult period and talk about having to toughen up and having to go through adversity, then for 18 months I don't think I could get much worse.

"I didn't read the newspapers, didn't listen to the media, I concentrated on the job and went around the country watching games.

"I've got a very strong, good family around me, which is very important and good friends, good people in football who have been a real rock as well for me.

"You look in the mirror and you know you made mistakes, everybody does, you live with it and get on with it, but that's life and that's football.

"Talk about developing a thicker skin, I think I visibly saw it growing in those 18 months and still the grievances are there and you have to live with it."

Hear the hour long interview in full on 'In The Spotlight' on BBC Radio Manchester on Thursday, 11 August at 18:00 BST, or if you miss it you listen to the program again on iPlayer or as a podcast. McClaren also discusses about the infamous interview he did in broken English for Dutch television, his time at Manchester United, and winning the Dutch Eredivisie with FC Twente.

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