Charlton backs McClaren as axe prepares to fall

November 13, 2007

Sir Bobby Charlton claims England boss Steve McClaren just needs 'a bit of luck' and he will win round his detractors.

England's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008 are out of their hands with Russia facing Israel away and Andorra at home over the next week, while McClaren's men play a friendly in Austria on Friday night before their final qualifier against Croatia next Wednesday.

It remains to be seen if the Football Association will keep faith with McClaren if England miss out, but Charlton believes they should stick with their man.

He said: 'He is under immense pressure from the media. It's the media more than anything else. The Football Association say Steve McClaren is the manager for a while. Ask football people who else would you get.

'He's good at his job really. He just needs a bit of luck and everyone will think Steve McClaren is the best thing since sliced bread.'

The Manchester United and England legend thinks 'maybe it is about time the players took a bit of responsibility'.

He added: 'The England manager's job is so high profile. Maybe you need a bit of luck - support from the players, the FA, people in the game generally. Let's give him a chance.'

And Charlton claims England's hopes of qualifying are not finished yet.

'Let's keep our fingers crossed that Israel do us a favour. If Israel do us a favour we will beat Croatia.'