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Back in charge of FC Twente after barely 18 months away, Steve McClaren has been reliving happy memories as he looks forward to the first European home game of his second spell with the Enschede outfit.
Though steering Twente to their maiden Eredivsie title in 2010 must rank among McClaren's finest hours, taking Middlesbrough FC all the way to the 2006 UEFA Cup final was also a hugely impressive achievement. They got there the hard way too, launching extraordinary comebacks against FC Basel 1893 and FC Steaua Bucureşti, the team they lead 1-0 going into Thursday's UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg.
"It was a 'never-forget' moment," said McClaren of Middlesbrough's 4-3 aggregate triumph against Steaua nearly six years ago. "The quarter-finals against Basel, I think we were three goals down and had to come back and win in the last minute. Then, two weeks later, [it was] the same against Steaua; an unbelievable evening. I don't think it will be repeated very many times in my career. Two evenings like Basel and Steaua – they were remarkable games."
England manager prior to his first stint at Twente, McClaren subsequently endured indifferent spells at VfL Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest FC before returning to Enschede last month. "I had two good years here before, and I said I would come back," he said. "I think it's a little sooner than I thought, but yes, it's good to be back. Nothing much changes – the team a little bit, but still everything is good here. The culture, the philosophy, the way we work: it's the same as two years ago."
View the interviews with McClaren and Luuk de Jong in the video above.
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