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England coach McClaren happy with performance

After losing two qualifying matches for the 2008 Euro qualifiers, English coach Steve McClaren is happy as his team played a draw against Dutch team.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 19:13 IST

England coach Steve McClaren was delighted with his side's improved performance even as they were denied victory over Holland in a friendly international match by a late equalising goal from the home side.

Wayne Rooney put England ahead six minutes before half-time, prodding home Joe Cole's cross, and his goal looked to have clinched victory Wednesday night before Rafael van der Vaart fired home the equaliser from close range seven minutes before the end to clinch a 1-1 draw.

"I asked for a performance and that is what we got," McClaren said, having gone into the game on the back of a draw at home to Macedonia and defeat in Croatia in the two Euro 2008 qualifying matches.

"We are all disappointed we didn't win because we deserved to. Apart from the goal we had half a dozen very good chances and on another day we would have won. I can't think of any negatives about the system or the game plan."

Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Michael Carrick all went close to increasing the lead before Van der Vaart pounced on a loose ball following a long throw by Arjen Robben to score the equalising goal and save Holland's blushes.

Gerrard even had the chance to win it as the seconds ticked away but his shot was well saved.

"It was a performance of character," McClaren said. "We looked like a team, were comfortable defensively and created chances. It's probably our best performance over 90 minutes and it should restore some confidence."

First Published: Nov 16, 2006 19:13 IST