McClaren wants 'pride and passion' from England
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McClaren wants 'pride and passion' from England

England manager Steve McClaren believes old-fashioned English virtues can end Croatia's unbeaten home run of 29 competitive matches.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2006 01:30 IST

England manager Steve McClaren believes old-fashioned English virtues can end Croatia's unbeaten home run of 29 competitive matches when the sides meet in a Euro 2008 Group E qualifier on Wednesday.

"We are looking for an English performance, one of pride, passion, attitude and character," he told reporters.

"We have come here to win. We go everywhere to win because England can beat anybody on the day. That's what we want to do tomorrow."

Having reiterated he expected a reaction from the players after a disapointing 0-0 draw with Macedonia at Old Trafford on Saturday, McClaren admitted it would be a "big challenge".

"There is a reason for that unbeaten run Croatia have, it's because they are a very good team," McClaren said.

"Everyone knows it's going to be a difficult game for England but that's when you come to the fore -- with your backs against the wall."

UEFA spokesman William Gaillard earlier on Tuesday warned Croatia could be expelled from Euro 2008 if their fans repeated racist behaviour such as forming a swastika with their bodies during the friendly with Italy in August.

McClaren said his players would "focus on getting a result on the pitch and not bother about whatever may happen on the terraces."

"We are not worried. We will just concentrate on the football and let UEFA and the referee deal with whatever happens off it."


Captain John Terry said the team was equally determined to overcome a hostile reception in the cauldron of Dinamo Zagreb's 40,000-seater Maksimir stadium.

"Playing in a hostile environment can sometimes work in your favour. We have come here to get three points so we can't be worried about things like fans or flares," he said.

Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard, who will win a milestone 50th international cap, also underlined England's determination to come away with a win.

"We have to be ready for a strong home crowd and there is nothing better than coming to a hostile place and quieting the home fans. It will be a big challenge but we are ready."

Croatian authorities have undertaken tight security measures designed to prevent any crowd trouble.

Police have worked double shifts from Tuesday and have been ordered to detain any troublemakers. Traffic in the approaches to the stadium will grind to a halt several hours before kickoff at 1700 GMT on Wednesday.

First Published: Oct 11, 2006 01:30 IST