McClaren appointment 'expected on Thursday'

May 3, 2006

Steve McClaren will be confirmed as the England manager following a board meeting of the Football Association on Thursday, according to senior sources.

The Middlesbrough manager's name will be recommended to the board by the selection panel and an announcement is expected tomorrow afternoon with McClaren likely to be officially paraded as Sven-Goran Eriksson's successor on Friday.

The appointment should be a matter of rubber-stamping as four members of the selection panel are also on the board, including the main powerbrokers from the professional game Dave Richards and David Dein.

The issue is unlikely even to go to a vote. The six board members from the amateur side of football should be broadly supportive of having an Englishman in charge and so, unless there are any objections, the appointment will just be waved through.

One member of the six-man selection panel told PA Sport: 'The board actually makes the decision but the panel have recommended Steve McClaren be appointed as the next England manager.

'We have to wait until tomorrow but it would be an almighty surprise if the recommendation was not acted upon.'

McClaren is the selection panel's second choice however - Luiz Felipe Scolari pulled out after being offered the job last week - but there is a sense of unanimity over the appointment, when some board members would have been very unhappy at giving Scolari, a Brazilian, the job.

The appointment will also please those who wish to see continuity in the England camp - McClaren has worked as one of Eriksson's assistant coaches and the Swede said there would be no problem working with the 45-year-old at the World Cup.

'It will be no problem at all,' said Eriksson.

'I have always said he's an extremely good coach and he has always done an extremely good job for us.'

If there is any disagreement at the board meeting it is likely to focus on the selection process, for there has been criticism of FA chief executive Brian Barwick for insisting three months ago that an appointment would be made before the World Cup.

The saga with Scolari was an embarrassment as well, and there have even been calls in some quarters for Barwick to quit.

His position is not under threat however - the benefit to him of finding Eriksson's successor by committee is that most of those who would have the power to force him out were also part of the selection process.

McClaren is also set to be asked to head a team of other English coaches to work with England. Stuart Pearce and Alan Curbishley have both been discussed by the selection panel as potential assistants.