Steve McClaren says English managers suffer from a 'bad image'

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren's last managerial job was at Derby, who sacked him in March

Former England boss Steve McClaren believes English managers are hampered by an image problem.

It is 25 years since an Englishman won the top-flight title, when Howard Wilkinson led Leeds to the old First Division championship.

There are currently six English managers in the Premier League.

"I think in the past we've made mistakes and been labelled," McClaren, who won the Dutch league with FC Twente in 2009-10, told BBC Sport.

"I asked the Dutch coaches about the English and British coaches. They're not respected, have a bad image. They think we have an island mentality, we only know English and stick with that, we won't learn other languages.

"They feel we're rigid in our play, 4-4-2, not adaptable, not flexible, very direct.

"They only thing they really admired was our attitude and fight. But I think it takes more than that to win a championship."

'There are opportunities to develop'

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has given his backing to English managers, suggesting it would not be another 25 years before one won the Premier League.

McClaren is less confident but does at least believe processes are now in place to help them develop.

"When you look now you can't see it happening for another 25 years, but I know what's going on behind the scenes," said McClaren.

"Coaching has become a bigger profession, more respected in this country. I think we are developing.

"Twenty-five years ago our players weren't very good technically or tactically, mentality-wise and physically we were very good.

"The players now are technically far better. Intelligence-wise, tactically, that's where they need to improve."

'English managers need to prove their worth'

Steve McClaren (centre) in 2004
Steve McClaren's Middlesbrough beat Bolton 2-1 to win the 2004 League Cup final

McClaren was assistant manager at Derby, Manchester United and England before being named Middlesbrough boss in 2001.

Over five years, he kept Boro in the Premier League, won the League Cup in 2004 and reached the final of the Uefa Cup in 2006 before replacing Sven-Goran Eriksson for an ill-fated stint as England boss, which ended with failure to reach Euro 2008.

"My breakthrough was winning that first trophy and going on from that," said McClaren.

"That's what's some English manager has to do, win an FA cup or a League Cup and therefore prove his worth. They also need to get a good agent to get in contact with these new foreign owners coming in.

"I can see English managers coming through. Whether or not they're given an opportunity is a different question."

'Conte wouldn't have kept Sunderland up'

Antonio Conte and David Moyes
Contrasting fortunes: Antonio Conte is one win away from the title with Chelsea while David Moyes has just been relegated with Sunderland

Since the Premier League began in 1992-93, nine managers have won the title - Scots Alex Ferguson (13) and Kenny Dalglish (1), Frenchman Arsene Wenger (3), Portuguese Jose Mourinho (3), Chilean Manuel Pellegrini (1) and Italians Carlo Ancelotti (1), Roberto Mancini (1) and Claudio Ranieri (1).

Antonio Conte will become the fourth Italian to win the championship if Chelsea beat West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Friday.

"Conte, Mourinho, Wenger are winners, they collect trophies and they're always going to do that," McClaren told BBC Radio 5 live.

"[But] I don't think Conte could have kept Sunderland up.

"I don't think he could have coached them the way he did and he would have [had] to adapt. "

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