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Shearer Backs McClaren, England

  • Goal.com, Tuesday, October 10, 2006 5:27 PM
Former England captain Alan Shearer says it's too early to take the knives out for Steve McClaren after two poor performances from England. The England coach has come under pressure since the Three Lions drew, 0-0, at home to lowly Macedonia, a team they barely managed to beat 1-0 in Skopje a month ago. Said Shearer: "Just because we have had one average game doesn't make us a poor team. Before Saturday, everyone was praising Steve and the players. You don't start panicking after an average 90 minutes." He added that he expects England can come away from the tough encounter with at least a point. Croatia should be the toughest opposition England's faced since McClaren took the helm. Before beating and then drawing with Macedonia, the Three Lions brushed aside the tiny nation of Andorra, 5-0, after beating European champion Greece, 4-0, in an international friendly, McClaren's first game in charge. Shearer's former Newcastle teammate, Scott Parker, could start in the center of midfield in place of the injured Steven Gerrard. It would be Parker's first appearance for England in more than two years. McClaren may choose to deploy a 3-5-2 formation to provide forwards Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch with more support.

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