World Cup 2014: England motivates players - McClaren

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Steve McClaren
McClaren's Derby lost to Redknapp's QPR in the Championship play-off final in May

Ex-England boss Steve McClaren has said he never coached an English player who did not want to represent his country.

"I worked with England very, very closely over a number of years and I've worked at club level. Everybody wants to play for their country," McClaren told BBC Sport.

McClaren managed England from August 2006 to December 2007.

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His views were echoed by Fulham midfielder Scott Parker, who won 18 England caps between 2003 and 2012.

"I can only speak personally but I have never seen anybody not want to play for their country," Parker told BBC London 94.9. "Harry's comments are his comments. Whenever I put the shirt on it filled me with so much pride."

Currently managing Derby, McClaren served as Sven-Goran Eriksson's number two with England at three major tournaments between 2002 and 2006.

Although he defended English players, he said Redknapp's views were "bandied about" within the game and acknowledged that club versus country issues do cause problems around friendly internationals.

"These players are playing Champions League football, then you get friendlies and they are not so high-profile. Players get niggly injuries and the club comes first," said McClaren during a visit to the Wimbledon tennis championships.

"You can very much understand what Harry is saying about that."

Steve McClaren
McClaren's England failed to quality for Euro 2008 after a home defeat by Croatia

McClaren, who was sacked when England failed to qualify for Euro 2008, said the current team's exit from the group stage of the 2014 World Cup had left him in "shock".

Boss Roy Hodgson's justifiable desire to play a more attacking style, with inexperienced players, had left England exposed at the back, he added.

"I look at England now and it's totally different - we are trying to adapt to how the modern game is going," said McClaren ahead of England's final group game against Costa Rica at 17:00 BST on Tuesday.

"Two years ago, England had two banks of four, and were very compact - defending deep, relying on counter-attacks and set-pieces to win games. We did that with Sven in three tournaments and went out on penalties.

"Now, quite rightly, we are trying to adapt with these younger players coming through, expand the game and open it up more, but that has left us vulnerable at the back. If you don't defend well you don't win tournaments, you don't win games."

Parker said Hodgson should be given more time to develop the team.

"Roy has a plan and it is a process that takes time," he added. "Spain developed over years and years. They stuck with it and were committed. We need to do that."

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