FA should stand by manager - Jim

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today gave his backing to England coach Steve McClaren.“The Football Association should stand by him if England fail to qualify for the finals of next year's European Championships,” said Magilton.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today gave his backing to England coach Steve McClaren.

“The Football Association should stand by him if England fail to qualify for the finals of next year's European Championships,” said Magilton.

“This is his first qualification and it takes time to make your mark. History shows this to be correct.”


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Israel's dramatic 2-1 win over Russia on Saturday means McClaren's fate is likely to be decided on Wednesday evening when England play Croatia at Wembley.

England just have to avoid defeat to join Croatia from Group E in Austria and Switzerland next summer.

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Blues chairman David Sheepshanks is on the FA committee that holds the key to McClaren's future and is reported to be still undecided about what action to take if it comes to a vote.

He did not want to make a comment today.

But Magilton, who was handed an increased contract by Ipswich earlier this month that takes him to 2010, is in no doubt.

“The England boss has to do his job under intense media pressure,” added Magilton.

“This should not influence any decisions made on his future. England have no divine right to qualify.”

Magilton does, however, fear for England making progress out the qualifying stages - something that Eriksson achieved every time during his reign.

“It will be tough for England,” said Magilton.

“There are certain expectations surrounding England, and with the quality of players the coach has at his disposal they should qualify.”

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