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England rally round McClaren

England players have pledged support for manager Steve McClaren as they aim to put a disappointing stalemate with Israel behind them against Andorra.

England players gave manager Steve McClaren their full backing on Tuesday as they prepared for their UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against Andorra in Barcelona. Captain John Terry and vice-captain Steven Gerrard both offered strong endorsements of McClaren, who has come under criticism in the press since Saturday's 0-0 Group E draw in Israel.

"I think the players have to take a lot of responsibility for the manager taking it in the neck," Gerrard said. "It's us who are going out there and underperforming, underachieving if you like. We do feel partly responsible for the criticism he's taking, and it's down to myself and the other boys to stand up and try to take some heat off him and turn these results around.

Belief in McClaren
"We definitely believe in him. Definitely. All the players are behind him. He's preparing us right, he's coaching us right. He's telling us the right things. It's us players who are not getting results for him and the fans. This game is all about results and our results haven't been acceptable of late. So we take the criticism on the chin and move on."

No win in five
England are without a win in five internationals and slumped to third in Group E after the stalemate in Tel Aviv. McClaren's side, who have not scored in their last three qualifiers, are three points behind Russia and five adrift of leaders Croatia. "We've underperformed a little in the last few games but as a group we are fully behind the manager," Terry said.

'Right man for job'
"It's not nice what we are hearing, but he is the right man for the job, 100 per cent. Tomorrow is a must-win game and as a bunch we feel we owe it to the manager. We are all in it together. It's us against everybody, and we need to stand up and be counted."