Venables backs coach McClaren

Terry Venables has backed Steve McClaren to get England back on track in their next two Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Terry Venables has backed Steve McClaren to get England back on track in their next two Euro 2008 qualifiers.

McClaren came in for fresh criticism this week following England's disappointing 1-0 defeat to Spain, a result which extended the side's run without a win to four games.

Assistant boss Venables knows the pressure is building ahead of next month's qualifiers against Israel and Andorra, but he insists the mood in the camp is still positive.

"Despite everything that is being said and written, Steve and I are supremely confident - we're ready for these matches and we believe we will win them," he told the News of the World.

"We understand the consequences if we fail against Israel, but failure isn't something weighing us down right now because we know, given a full squad, we are strong enough and good enough to deal with that game, and the next one against Andorra."

England's performance against Spain was greeted with boos at the final whistle and Venables admits it was a painful experience for McClaren.

But he claims McClaren is strong enough to bounce back and lead England to the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.

"This isn't the first time England have lost a friendly, nor the first time we have been booed off the pitch," said Venables.

"There is nobody more bitterly disappointed than Steve, nobody who wants to win more than him.

"I've seen the pain on his face. That alone tells you how passionately he cares.

"He knows the hopes of the entire country are pinned on his shoulders. But he knows what the squad should and can do, and that knowledge is making us all confident about the games ahead."- Sky Sports

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