Festa hits out at McClaren

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FORMER Middlesbrough player Gianluca Festa has launched a stinging attack on his former manager Steve McClaren.

The Italian was released by the Boro boss during last season and moved on to Portsmouth where he helped the club clinch promotion to the Premiership.

The 34-year old is now playing alongside Gianfranco Zola at Cagliari but was not impressed by McClaren during their time together on Teesside.

"I only respect people who respect me and McClaren never did," explained the former Internazionale stopper.

"I didn't really get on with him and I didn't really rate him.

"I thought Harry Redknapp was a much better coach and a much better man who always respected his players. I cannot say that about McClaren.

"He is a decent enough coach and some of his methods are very good, but he is not a decent man because he never respected me."

The former Manchester United assistant has been linked with the England job as the uncertainty around Sven Goran Eriksson's future grows.

McClaren was the Swede's number two at the last World Cup finals but stepped down to concentrate on his management tasks at Middlesbrough.

Festa continued: "I know McClaren will be linked with the England job because he did well when he was the assistant, but I can only go by the way he treated me and that was not good."

The defender reserved special praise for Pompey boss Harry Redknapp who offered him the chance of regular first team football on the South coast.

"I had a great relationship with Harry and he was my type of manager.

"He was very superior in all respects to what I had to put up with at Boro."

Despite leaving The Riverside in unhappy circumstances the Italian still enjoyed his time at the North East club.

"When McClaren came things did not go well for me but that will not spoil the rest of my time I had there,

"I had some amazing times at Boro and I can only thank the fans for the way they treated me."

Festa also feels that Massimo Maccarone will be a success in his second season with Middlesbrough and that the club's fans must be patient with the striker.

"Maccarone stayed with me for a week this summer and I know he's really disappointed by his injury, but he will come back.

"He is a quality striker who will score lots of goals but the fans must understand that it takes a season or two to get used to the English game." He added.