England boo boys keep McClaren under pressure
Steve McClaren remains under pressure despite England ending their five-match winless run with a 3-0 victory over Andorra in their Euro 2008 Group E qualifier in Barcelona.
McClaren and his men were subjected to sustained abuse from their own fans at the Olympic Stadium and the boss stormed out of a post-match press conference after just two questions.
During a lacklustre first half the vast majority of England's 12,000 fans joined in choruses of 'You'll be sacked in the morning' and 'What a load of rubbish' during the tepid, goalless opening period.
And even after Steven Gerrard's second-half double was followed up by substitute David Nugent's debut goal right at the death, the attacks continued, 'Still want McClaren out' was the pay-off line.
But McClaren hailed the 'guts and character' of his players against a team ranked 163rd in the world, boasting just one single full-time player, before cutting short the news conference.
The under-fire England boss said: "I said at half-time they had to show real guts and character to come through this. They did that. Each and everyone of them. I am proud of the players. It was a very difficult situation for them."
He continued: "There is no concern for me. Nothing concerns me about what people write or say. What matters is what is on the inside. There is a great determination to prove people wrong and a few of those players have probably grown up tonight."
With Frank Lampard being ruled out of England's latest Group E qualifier by a wrist injury, Gerrard was switched back to the centre from the right-sided position in which he has been deployed since McClaren succeeded Sven-Goran Eriksson.
And after the restart the inspirational Liverpool midfielder grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, breaking the deadlock eight minutes after the interval with a fine volley before charging onto Defoe's return pass to double England's lead on 76 minutes.
Gerrard's role allowed Aaron Lennon to start on the right, where he too looked far more effective than he did in Israel at the weekend.
The question for McClaren now is whether to bring Lampard back for the next qualifier in Estonia on June 6, where a win would put England back in the hunt for a qualifying berth.
The former England boss added: "We have won the game and we move on. That puts us in a better position in the group. We have to make sure we beat Estonia in June. Then we are on the run-in. It is down to us. It is still in our hands."