Boro jump to McClaren's defence

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Middlesbrough have leapt to Steve McClaren's defence after ex-striker Massimo Maccarone hit out at the England coach.

The Italian attacker finally ended his Riverside misery when he resigned for Siena in the January transfer window after four-and-a-half years in the North East.

Maccarone labelled Boro's former boss "hypocritical and false", but Boro have defended McClaren's time with the club citing his unprecedented success with the Teessiders.

"As a club, we need to defend Steve from what has been a very unfair attack because he's the most successful manager we've ever had," stated chairman Steve Gibson.

"He brought us two campaigns in Europe, took us to the Uefa Cup final, we won our first ever trophy in the Carling Cup and he led us to seventh in the Premiership League, the highest position in our history.

"I don't like to condemn former players, but for Maccarone to have such a go at Steve is wrong.

"Maccarone's task was to give Steve no choice but to put him in. He couldn't do it."