Arsenal the ones under pressure, says McClaren

August 6, 2008

ENSCHEDE, Netherlands, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Former England manager Steve McClaren, whose new club Twente Enschede face Arsenal in the Champions League qualifiers next Wednesday, said all the pressure would be on the English side.

McClaren joined the Dutch club in June, making his return to football after being sacked as England manager following their failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

'The pressure is on Arsenal not on us,' he told reporters as he prepared for the first leg of the third round tie.

'My team has shown it is capable of qualifying. It has shown its qualities. These just need to be there against Arsenal...as long as we prepare right, work as a team, and get some luck, which is the most important, then who knows.'

McClaren said had enjoyed his first six weeks at the club in the east of the Netherlands and the insight it had given him into Dutch football culture.

He said he had been impressed by the team spirit shown in Twente fourth-place finish last season and made it clear maintaining that would be his first priority.

McClaren added he had enjoyed working with players on a daily basis - something he missed whilst away from club football.

'In international football you get the players very infrequently, and only for a few days. To work day in day out with these players has been for me the most rewarding.'

Twente will be appearing in the Champions League for the first time and face a tough task against Arsenal, Champions League finalists in 2006 and quarter-finalists last season. But McClaren said generally low expectations of his team would spur them on.

'The draw could have been kinder in terms of football we know that.. but for the spectators it will be momentous.'

Asked how he had recovered mentally since his departure from the England job, McClaren said: 'By getting back to work, by coming here.'

'I always wanted to coach abroad,' he said, adding that former England manager Bobby Robson, who twice managed Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, had advised him to go to the Netherlands and had told him he would enjoy it.