McClaren 'really excited' by challenge of job overseas management

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The Independent Football

Steve McClaren claims he has turned down offers to manage overseas but insists he is willing to move abroad or even step down into the Championship.

The former England manager claims he is waiting for the right chairman to come calling before returning to the game.

"My next job will be about the person employing me as much as anything – he has to have vision and be ambitious," McClaren told the BBC. "It's got to be a challenge. That might be abroad or in the Championship."

He added: "Before I went to Middlesbrough, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told me, 'pick the chairman, not the club'. And I was lucky. I picked Steve Gibson, who believed in my philosophy and gave me time. Given time, if you have got the right philosophy, you will succeed."

McClaren, who was sacked as England manager last November, spent time watching the coaching methods at Barcelona and Espanyol last week and says a job at a European club would appeal to him.

"It's something I would never dismiss and which, in fact, excites me," he said. "The key thing is getting the experience of different cultures. We shouldn't be insular and think the English Premier League is the be all and end all. I have had offers, mainly from abroad, but none that has really excited me." Much has been made of the emphasis Fabio Capello has placed on discipline since succeeding McClaren in the England job. McClaren, in contrast, was often accused of being too informal and familiar with his players.

But he said: "We called each other by nicknames but how I work has been successful the majority of the time, so I am going to stick by that. What works for some does not work for others. I am a player-oriented coach and manager and always will be."

McClaren claims the lack of English players in the Premier League has hindered the national team's progress and will hamper Capello. "Of course it's a hindrance. Look at the facts – in the Premier League, 38 per cent of players playing on any one Saturday are English," he said. "And how many of those are playing for the top four? How many are playing in Europe?

"This is the key. The England manager needs English players playing at the top, in European football, because that is the closest experience to international football."